In the last post, I described my awe at watching riders producing power mile after mile at levels we cannot imagine: climbing long steep hills in their big chainrings. Producing that power, while absolutely required for the job, is just the price of admission.
If you are that strong, and you have the other skills and bravery and dedication, you can be a Category One cyclist or you can turn pro. You will not however be kissing trophy girls.
For that, you have to have the power and much more. You have to be able to ride at racing pace while saving energy and calculating strategy and positioning yourself so that when the crunch comes, you will be able to do what you must do to succeed.
Today, Floyd Landis and three guys I do not know broke away and stayed away for miles. Floyd did most of the work - at least late in the race when my passenger/mechanic Steve Donovan and I got to the break. We had to ride the motorcycle 65mph for long periods to catch the break, for so long really that we thought we might be lost - because NO WAY could the front riders be that far ahead.
But there they were finally. We rode with Floyd and the little group to the finish, or nearly there, because the pack caught the break about a kilometer from the finish in Fort Bayard. Floyd sat up and pedaled in alone. Floyd makes that power and has all the skills, but they weren't enough today.
It's funny. I'm here and you're there, but you probably know who won today and I don't. I heard it was a Colavita rider. Perhaps I'll check the VN Online site and find out. I wanted Floyd to win, frankly. Everyone at the races likes the guy and you hear the folks along the road yelling his name.
I have the next two days off. Tomorrow is the time trial stage and Saturday is the downtown criterium. I'll be in touch again soon...