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Getting Arrested at Cycling's Most Prestigious Single Day Event

Our friends at Manual for Speed covered the Milan-San Remo. One of them got arrested.
Manual for Speed

At 298 kilometers (185 miles), Milan San Remo is the longest one-day race in professional road cycling. First raced in 1907 and bestowed with the honorific nickname "The Spring Classic," it is held each year in early spring and renowned as one of the five classic monuments of cycling. This year Manual for Speed went to the race. We took photos, hung with chillers, drank coffees, ate pasta, and got arrested. Did you know that the police in Italy, the Carabinieri, have a uniform that was partially designed by Valentino? Well they do, trust us, we got a really close look at it, definitely partial Valentino. But we still got the shots, we still got home, and only one of us had to sit through six hours of Italian criminal booking procedures just for giving a friend the old double open hand on upper thigh synchronized chop. You know, the Kenny Powers, Triple H salute. It means exactly what you want it to mean in Italy, and they do not take that shit lightly.


Manual for Speed's full Milan-San Remo coverage.

Milan is the fashion capital of Italy, and Italy is the fashion capital of the world so it only makes sense that the chillers in Milan have next level fashion.

At the start of Milan San Remo 2015 it was very wet, and the ancient cobbles were exceedingly treacherous, which made for exciting racing.

187 Moreno Moser: His father Diego, brothers Leonardo and Matteo, and cousin Ignazio have also competed professionally. Twitter Bio: "Cycling is a lifestyle, not just a hobby"

For most of the day it would remain very very wet.

This is the dude, the arresting officer, who did not take kindly to my Kenny Powers pantomime.

At this very moment the man you see here is leading Milano-Sanremo, this is a big deal, it's "The Spring Classic." And yet my arrest is drawing his attention away from the point/focus of his entire career. The arrest is that captivating and astonishing.

"Bad boys, bad boys watcha want, watcha gunna do?"

At the finish, the sun came out and only one of our photographers was there to capture it, the other was in jail.

Serghei Tvetcov: He has been Romanian since 2013. Before that, he was Moldovian. Cycling is like the Olympics, nationalities can change.

Zico Waeytens at the finish - He loves nice cars and tattoos.

A Brief Timeline of My Incarceration:


Daniel Pasley - Narrator/MFS Photographer/MFS Writer

Emiliano Granado - MFS Photographer/MFS Editor


Raoul Strume - MFS European Handler

Ian Marshall - MFS Support Person

Kieran Best - MFS Support - Daniel's Girlfriend

12:30 PM: I was placed into the backseat of a police car. I was not searched. I was not handcuffed. Eventually I was allowed to use my mobile phone.

12:45 PM: Officer #1 (the arresting officer ) and Officer #2 join me in the vehicle. We drive down the mountain with the sirens on. Not because I was in the car but because Italian Police don't drive anywhere for any reason, at any point, on any day, without the sirens on. You drive? You speed! With the sirens on!

12:46 PM: We pull over a vehicle (another Stampa*, incidentally) for illegally passing a car on the way down the mountain. While pulled over, we are ourselves illegally passed by the very same car the Stampa gentlemen had passed only moments before. The officers let the Stampa gentlemen go with a verbal warning (at least, I think that's what happened?) then give chase. We get stuck behind a large truck which refuses to yield. By the time we make it around the truck, it's decided (I think, I don't speak much Italian) that catching up to the latest violator is no longer a priority. On the way down I use Google Translate to some effect. It appears that I will be held for a period of time, fined, taken to court, then released.

*Stampa denotes designated race media in Italy

1:15 PM: We arrive at Police Station #1, Legione Carabinieri Liguria, Stazione di Genova Voltri. I am escorted into the station and instructed to sit on a bench by the front door. At this point I remember that I'm booked on a flight scheduled to leave the country in less than 19 hours.


1:25 PM: My colleagues Emiliano Granado, Ian Marshall and Raoul Sturme arrive at Police Station #1, they are told to wait outside. They are told that I will be released in one hour. I am told the same. I am also told that I will be released in five minutes. At this point I notice for the first time that the police station is heavily staffed. I mean, there are officers everywhere. Lots of milling around. The whole scene kinda has this union dock workers vibe.

1:39 PM: I am questioned by Officer #3 and Officer #4, they want to see my papers—my passport. I don't have it, it's back in Milan, I explain.

1:58 PM: Emiliano is allowed into the Police Station in the capacity of translator. Emiliano does not speak Italian. But he speaks fluent Spanish. Which is closer than English. Emiliano is brought up to speed regarding the need to procure a photograph of my passport if not the passport itself. Emiliano begins a text correspondence with Keiran Best. Keiran is unable to find my passport. In addition to my immediate concerns regarding my #kasual incarceration, I'm worried I may have lost my passport. My return trip home is now doubly dubious.

2:36 PM: Officer #5 brings me into his office where I begin filling out the first of several rounds of paperwork. Paperwork #1 is my Dichiarazione d'identità personale, which as many of you will know translates to a Declaration in lieu of affidavit. We discuss my drivers license as a possible substitute for my passport and/or a photograph of my passport. At first it seems like a suitable substitute and but then it turns out that it isn't. Officer #6 walks into Officer #5's office with my 2nd and 3rd round of paperwork in his hands. They discuss something. I begin my next two rounds of paperwork. Meanwhile, Emiliano and I discuss the need for the un-incarcerated remainder of MFS, to get on the road and back to the race before it's too late and they miss the finish.


3:15 PM: Officers #2, #5 and #8 drive me to Police Station #2, where I will be photographed because I am unable to produce a photograph of my passport, with the sirens on. We slow to honk and wave at beautiful women jogging—not joking—otherwise we speed and terrorize traffic the whole way up the coast. Five minutes into the drive, Keiran texts me a photograph of my passport. At which point Officer #5 makes a call, which call lasts for about three minutes. For a second it looks like we will turn around, but the moment passes, and we are clearly instructed to continue on to Police Station #2. The drive takes twelve minutes.

3:27 PM: Once again, I am escorted into a station and instructed to sit on a bench by the front door. Via text, it's decided that Emiliano, Raoul and Ian will leave Police Station #1 immediately in an attempt to make it to the finish of the race before the finish of the race. Plans are also made to pick me up, here, in the northern suburbs of Genoa, in roughly four maybe five hours once the race is completed. And assuming, of course, that I will be released by then.

3:35 PM: Officers #2, #5 and #11 escort me from the waiting room near the front door to the booking room in the back; there is some confusion in the process though because the booking room is locked and nobody, it appears, has the keys. We wait in the hallway outside the booking room together for about three minutes until Officer #12, a plain clothes officer, arrives with the keys. Inside the booking room it's cold and dark and none of the equipment is turned on. If I had to guess the last time the booking room was used, based on the color of the walls and the fluorescent panels in the drop ceiling and the general mid-80's Czechoslovakian smell to everything, I would have estimated sometime in late August, 1996. Officer #11 instructs me to sit in a chair opposite a computer, at which point we begin a 35-minute intake process. Officer #11 types, with two pointer fingers and oddly enough, his left thumb, about 11 words a minute. Officers #2, #5, #8, #12 and #13 all stand in the small room with us and watch the entire process. At one point Officer #5 says something to Officer #12 but otherwise they are quiet the entire time. After the intake procedure I am fingerprinted, but first Officer #11 spends 10 minutes rolling-out the fingerprint ink like he's maybe making a pizza crust or mixing some Renaissance oil paints or something. We fingerprint my individual fingertips, my individual fingers (like not just the tip), all four fingers together, my palm, and my whole hand. Both hands. Twice. The whole time, Officer #11 wears blue latex gloves which he pulled from the pocket of his jeans. The process takes about 28 minutes, not including another five minutes to roll out more ink. Then we do photographs. There is an adjustable articulating chair and an x-ray shaped camera and the whole thing feels a lot like a Soviet DMV. Not that I know anything about a Soviet DMV. Although wait, now maybe I do?


"4:45 PM: I am returned to the Waiting Room where I look at book featuring the Italian Olympic Campaign at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Apparently, and I did not know this, the Italians are really into fencing."DWP

4:57 PM: I am returned to the booking room for a second set of portraits. Then back to the waiting room.

5:48 PM: Officer #14, also a plain clothes officer, comes into the waiting room to speak with me. He speaks English very well. He explains to me that I will NOT be charged, that this all just a formality, that the crime I am accused of committing is a felony, and fairly severe, and so therefore I am simply being issued a formal warning instead of being brought into a complicated/gnarly legal process. Officer #14 shakes my hand, says goodbye, walks out of the Waiting Room and out of my life forever…

5:49 PM: …except I watch him have an impromptu 20-second conversation with Officer #17 in the hallway, after which he comes back into the waiting room, apologizes, says he was mistaken, says that Felony Charges are in fact being drawn against me, that I will be appointed a lawyer, that a fine will be levied against me, that I will be released in 20 minutes, that I am free to go, for now. And that, "in Italy you never go to jail, but you pay many fines."

6:15 PM: I am returned to Police Station #1 via the coastal drive and more sirens, honks and unnecessary swerving and speeding.

6:30 PM: I am instructed to fill-out Paperwork #4 and #5, copies of both are given to me. I witness several phone calls. I am issued some kind of verbal decree or statement or some shit. I ask to use the bathroom. I am released.

6:31 PM: I walk around for about an hour looking for a functioning ATM, I find a river and lots of concrete buildings. I watch a high school soccer game. I find a coffee shop and a gelato joint. I play chess in the dark on my iPhone until it dies. I watch the sunset on the boardwalk.

Manual for Speed is not a technical manual or training resource. It is not a report of last week's results. We represent an intimate, insightful and studied look at speed. Viewed from as many perspectives as possible, this project is a humanistic and episodic look at what professional cyclists do and endure to go as fast as they possibly can.