Archive for April, 2014

April 21, 2014

A Summer of Crits, Lemond and Gert-Jan Theunisse

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We pulled up in the van midmorning, as steel barriers were being put in place to close off the course. Some of us were half asleep, our necks kinked against the windows, while others punched away at Game Boys and paged through cycling magazines. Nervous excitement spun in each of our minds for the day of racing ahead.

Men wearing low-slung jeans and grimy T’s, with rolled cigarettes hanging from their lower lips, unloaded hundreds of galvanized steel barriers from flatbed trucks. The barricades lined the curbs of the town center criterium course, creating a cage to hold back the fervent drunken crowds of spectators as the riders whizzed past. Even before the barriers were in place, the beer stand opened to allow the workmen to quench their thirst under the rising summer sun. (continue reading: http://www.competitivecyclist.com/learn/the-summer-crits)

 

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April 10, 2014

Paris Roubaix.

 

 

p2260006Paris Roubaix is a race of unknowns. What the riders can’t control, what looms in their futures, haunts them until the pop of the starter’s pistol. In the days prior to the race, they’ll check the weather repeatedly. Some will hope for rain so that the peloton is tamer and thins out quickly, while others will pray for sun so that the cobbles will be dry. The race is one of attrition, position, and luck. It requires preparation, mental resilience, and physical strength. It will create champions. It will shred skin, bruise, and break bodies. It will fuel dreams. It will inspire.

The night before, and on the bus heading to the start, the riders’ demeanor will be unlike any other race. Every rider knows his body will be pummeled by the race. The question is, how badly? (Continue reading)