Just to add one last thought to my previous message: I think it's also clear that neither of these men was riding with a high bar position; the bars were 5cm below the saddle or so in both cases.
They must have just wanted low top tubes.
In 1984 or so, a guy named Urs Fruehler, or something that sounds like that, rode for the Bottechia team in riding togs with horizontal blue and grey stripes (jersey and shorts both) - and his bike had a headtube extension of an inch or more. He managed to win one of the classics on this rig, and thus it is pictured in one of the 'Fabulous World of Cycling' yearbooks.
Also note: in the early 80's Bernard Hinault rode his bike with the stem always at the maximum extension possible. I gather this position is associated with a greater risk of breakage, and of course it flexes much more. At any rate, by the time he was writing his book on racing technique (about 1985) he was using the rig someone on the list mentioned earlier: an extra-long steerer tube and perhaps a half-inch or so of spacers. Perhaps in another case one could consider it a kluge or an afterthought, but for Hinault two things are clear: this man could get whatever bike he wanted, and he certainly wanted to win.
Brad Stockwell Palo Alto
Classicrendezvous mailing list