Yesterday I used the adjective “Boring” to describe the race up until Nibali’s attack on the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons. I was content with that description as it was what I was feeling at the time. Hours later Bill Strickland had some things to say about those who (myself included from time to time) feel they would have acted differently in the heat of the race. It changed my mind.
While boredom was what I was feeling at the time, I only have the view from the Motos and the race helicopter. Of course that view is ultimately provided to me by the producer of the broadcast. The gist of Strickland’s argument is that we, as the watcher of the race, lack the inside view of the racers performing the act. The error in my description is the assumption that the members of the Peloton “arent’ racing”. There are reasons for riding the way they are and I’m not there, I’m not driving the car telling the riders what to do. Hell, I’m not even standing on the side of the road where the race is happening. I’m sitting in front of my computer in my PJs with a Nalgene filled with water. The short of it is that I don’t have a clue what’s happening in reality.
PROs are PRO for a reason. They may have someone sitting in a car telling them what to do, but the fact that they made it this far means they have way more tactical know how then most of us will ever poses. They are also human and as such are given to the whims, doubts and fears as we are. As such, they probably don’t always act with their best interest in mind. Like you and me, sometimes they are going by feel.
As BS said there are people who make their living picking these types of things apart. Your Author is not one of them. Most of the chatter that shows up in the comments of Velonews (the third ring of hell) and across our twitter feed amounts to little more than Monday morning DSing. Just like the guy in your office complaining about what a bone head the Head Coach of their favorite football team. Unless you are a retired PRO, you are probably as clueless as that guy in your office.
Besides, the focus of this blog isn’t analysis of PRO racing. To witness me racing is to know that I possess very little tactical savy. Instead it is more about the mental anguish, agony and ecstasy of riding a bicycle.