(Editor’s note… This post was written in a stream-of-conscious flood of emotions this morning. To help convey how excited we are about today’s race, it is presented here unedited for your pleasure… Plus, the editor is currently on a beach in Mexico with a very sketchy connection.)
A stage of the Tour De France is like that crazy girlfriend that you were afraid to introduce to your parents to, you just never knew what the hell is going to happen but you couldn’t resist the adventure even if you knew it was going to be fun but unpredictable and inevitably short-lived. The Tour De France today was an adventure into the unknown for the breakaway, it could have been a cruel ill-fated day where the Gods of physics reigned down enough heat, sticky tarmac and altitude to crush to souls of the break but today the super crazy hot unhinged girlfriend that is the Tour De France delivered a fairy tale day.
Cycling is one of those sports that you never know what’s going to happen, it can be cruel, savage and against the odds, it can be amazing, epic and life changing. Today was one of those days where unconstrained emotion washed over me a fan of the greatest sport in the world, the possible but unexpected happened.
Just a few days ago I was in Brussels embedded with the Trek-Segafredo team, I have spent 3 weeks with them in the last year and almost 6 months with them over the years that I’ve worked with the team. That magnifies the emotions that I feel when I’m back on the other side of the fence. If I’m helping a rider ride faster in a TT, do aero analysis, find a saddle that works, help them sit properly, working with Nate from Endurance rehab on an injury, working with Josu their head trainer or one of the soigneurs or coaches I’m in work mode. I’m in character, professional, analytical and working with all the other sports science, engineering and product folks to deliver the best performance options.
Yes, I get to work with these guys, yes it’s gratifying to see the plans, equipment and the hard work paying off but I’m bursting with emotion for the extended team that strives for the very best for the riders. It’s a huge professional milestone for Giulio and the team and I’m giddy that I’m privy to so much of what goes into a day like today.
On a day like today, that time in the trenches with the team is like a lens that intensifies the cauldron of emotions that awoke our surly teenage daughter this morning when Ciccone crossed the line and it became evident that he took yellow. The most coveted, symbolic, lusted after prize in cycling was wrenched from the enemy tribe in an amphitheater of sweat and burning limbs by a wiry lean sinewy endurance gladiator. Today’s deathmatch cheated physics, tactics and normal physical limits and was earned with suffering that is unfathomable to even seasoned athletes. It was a beautiful day, it was an awe-inspiring endeavor and there’s so much more to come. I’m a little hoarse, like after screaming at the rugby match when Ireland beats England at home in Lansdowne road, the heart of Irish rugby.
As a “born again” cyclist, I want to make a confession that is related to today's suffering and accomplishments in France. Preparation is key to everything in Cycling, equipment, training, nutrition, hydration and of course recovery. 18 weeks ago, I decided I wasn’t going to be the once a week couch potato I used to be. I rode like a man possessed to get ready for the 7-day Cycling Trip that we organized in the Algarve in Portugal. I lost weight, I got a huge gain in fitness, I obsessed with TSS, massage, recovery, early morning rides, I was cranky, tired and sometimes discouraged. It was fucking awesome, I was “born again”, albeit with many more layers of blubber for company.
I was inspired by the team of people that joined me on the ride and rode amazingly in Portugal, they pushed themselves to new limits, we laughed a lot, ate like Kings and Queens and visited amazing places. Today at the Tour De France was a reminder that with a Goal amazing things happen. When you prepare with a group of people who want the same thing amazing things happen.
“Born again anything” people are insufferable and I plan on being insufferable with trying to inspire people. My new focus will be to curate experiences that motivate people to do amazing things. Meaty goals and experiences that to provide the motivational nourishment to get you engaged. Portugal 2020 is a go and we will announce dates soon, we plan many more authentic experiences that we will carefully, lovingly create for you our clients. We are buoyed by our successes in Portugal and ready for more.
We will try to share, encourage and motivate you to join us. Expect gravel adventures, more Portugal trips, new countries to be explored and structure to help you do epic shit. And Oh yes, I am going to be a born again insufferable arsehole trying to get you to join us. More to come, stay tuned.
Vive Ciccone! Vive Le Tour, be prepared to be challenged by us to aspire to amazing stuff that will put lifetime memories in your brain and leave you with a lust for more, you have been warned…