Stage 19: Battle Royale

Where to start?

First French win in this year’s Tour? First French win on Alpe D’Huez since 1986? First French White Jersey (Best Young Rider) win since 1979? Alberto Contador throwing caution to the wind and attacking from the gun, trying to salvage his Tour? Thomas Voeckler initially riding away from F. Schleck and Evans only to come unglued at the end of the day and lose his shot at the podium?

To pick just one thing to write about from today’s stage is overwhelming, so I won’t even try. I’m going to go ride my bike! I encourage you to do the same. Anyone who doesn’t want to immediately climb on a bike after watching today’s stage must not have a pulse. What a beautiful sport! Be inspired, get outside and feel the sun on your shoulders and the wind in your hair. Relish the whoosh as you speed down a hill, and revel in the feeling of your muscles overcoming gravity as you fight your way up a climb.

Cycling really is the most beautiful sport, but the best thing about it is that it’s a participant sport, not a spectator sport. Go. Ride. Be free. Fly. Smile. Be Alive!

Steen A. Rose is an elite cycling and triathlon coach. He started coaching in 2003, and has been an Elite Coach with Training Bible Coaching since 2009. Steen is also captain of the Sun & Ski/Subaru Cycling and Triathlon teams. He has been racing since 1997, holds a Category 1 license, and has 13 state championships, 3 national medals, and 4 international podiums to his credit. He can be reached at srose@trainingbible.com

Stage 18: Willing to Lose

Stage 18

Willing to Lose

You can’t always have your cake and eat it, too. Sometimes you have to take great risks to reap great rewards. When these risks pay off, you will be a hero, a genius. When the risk does not pan out, you will be vilified. Those of you that watch American football will understand this; think about on-side kicks, 2-pt conversions, and going for it on 4th down. The papers the next day hail the coach as a genius when those plays work, and call for him to be fired when they don’t.

If you’ll pardon the rough analogy, today Andy Schleck went for it on 4th and long. He won the stage, and took enough time back from his rivals to put himself in the thick of the hunt going into the final two decisive stages.

In the post-race interview, Andy said that he didn’t care if he lost the race, that he was trying to win it. While that might seem oxymoronic, it’s actually the crux of the situation – you have to risk it all to win it all.

For most of us, “winning it all” has a slightly different appearance than it does for Andy Schleck, but it is no less important. Just because your personal battle will never be on TV doesn’t mean it’s not a battle, and worth fighting for.

The great riders, the great coaches, have the courage to lay it all on the line in pursuit of victory. Do you?

Steen A. Rose is an elite cycling and triathlon coach. He started coaching in 2003, and has been an Elite Coach with Training Bible Coaching since 2009. Steen is also captain of the Sun & Ski/Subaru Cycling and Triathlon teams. He has been racing since 1997, holds a Category 1 license, and has 13 state championships, 3 national medals, and 4 international podiums to his credit. He can be reached at srose@trainingbible.com