Life’s Like A Stage Race
A long time ago, when I was in a young racing team in Yorkshire, an old well-respected professional rider who ran a cycle shop in Bradford gave us some really good advice. It went along the lines of this:
“Life is like a stage race, you have good days and bad days, the good days are when you are up front making the race, the bad days are when you puncture, crash, have a cold, can’t hold the bunch etc, etc. But if you wait and try long enough you will be rewarded in the end for all the effort you put in to it.”
This is very similar to the Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge. We have heard that some riders say that the hardest thing about the Fred Whitton is gaining a place!
This is bit like a Prologue, with all of the building up and waiting a long time to take part, and then in the blink of an eye, the decision is made in seconds about who gets the leaders Jersey and who doesn’t.
After all the anticipation and nervousness of a gaining a place, there are a lot of disappointed riders and some riders who can look forward to some Long Flat Fast Stages and some Transition Stages (4 months in fact) before the mountains arrive. Unfortunately, this year we’ve also had plenty of wind and rain to contend with and this has made the task harder.
A few will fall by the wayside.
After all this, the riders who are still standing will be wondering if they have enough miles in their legs to complete the final stages. On the Fred Whitton, the Mountain Stages come not one at a time, but all together in one Epic Stage; 112 miles with every pass in the Lake District, and some other long climbs thrown in for good measure.
It’s not for the light hearted.
But no matter how all the riders experience the big day, there will be one big winner, Macmillan Cancer Support.
The runners up will be all of the other charities we all support.
For the riders who are experiencing the Fred Whitton for the first time, don’t be disappointed if you have had a bad Prologue, have suffered on the Flat sages and are loosing ground in the Mountains. Not many riders perform at their best on their first attempt. Just ask the old timers.
“Remember, if you wait and try long enough you will get rewarded in the end” (old Pro)
Comments are closed.