Learning to Love Pain: Life as a Tour de France Rider

28 Jul

Other duties call, so I have not been able to write my TDF recap or “Ode to the Tour de France”.  Until I do, here’s something I read today that puts what we just witnessed at the Tour into some perspective.  Click on the link for the full article.

From the Guardian Bike Blog:

“Let’s start with the purely physical though, because the feats performed by the best riders are astonishing in any context. Over the full duration of the Tour de France, 2,263 miles this year, the winner will average around 26mph. That’s faster than many club time triallists can manage for 10 miles.”

“Cyclists talk about suffering a lot. There’s honour in suffering, in digging deeper than you thought possible and carrying on against screams of protest from every part of your body. It shows rivals that you can’t be broken and team-mates that their work and altruism was not in vain.”

“Top riders make a lot of sacrifices. No boozy nights out, no cake for dessert, pasta for breakfast. They leave friends and family behind for months at a time even in the off-season.”

“In rare free time you can’t decide on a whim to head to the beach or take the kids to a theme park for the day, because you have to let the UCI know where you will be in advance so that the drugs testers can find you.”

“This lifestyle isn’t just during the season, it’s permanent. It takes years to harden the body sufficiently to withstand a three-week race ridden flat out. Tales of talent gone begging litter the sport’s history, serving as reminders that a dream job is far from an easy one.”

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