Cycling is one of the most demanding sports on the planet. It requires strength, explosiveness and power…….and the ability to repeat heard efforts over and over again. It also requires a tremendous amount of endurance, or the ability to spend hour after hour in the saddle. In addition, cycling requires a tremendous amount of mental toughness. The body gets tired and sore and screams “STOP” on a hard hill climb, chasing down a breakaway or the run-up to the finish.
Top level cyclists have the reputation of being, well, pricks. Dishing out pain to others as well as being on the receiving end of such treatment year after year requires a certain type of person and a certain mentality.
In addition to being a hard sport, cycling is also a dangerous sport. This was evidenced again in Stage 4 of the Giro when one of the riders, Wouter Weyland, perished in a crash during a high speed descent. This was a tragic accident and once again highlights the need for safety and vigilance. We as cyclists are totally exposed – to traffic, to the elements, to poor roads, to other riders and to the unknown. We must never take anything for granted.
The riders in the Giro paid tribute to Weyand in Stage 5 in a very moving fashion. The race was neutralized as the entire day on the road was spent as a memorial, with Weyand’s team coming across the finish line in unison. These hard men live on the edge every day. They’re fierce competitors and will do anything to win the race or to allow their teammate to win. There is no place for friendship in the peloton.
This makes the Stage 5 showing by all riders on all teams all the more incredible. We all truly are ”in this together.”
Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkJw1s0vvek
Add your comments below, then GET OUT AND RIDE!