Tour 2010: Répos 2

A curious reversal of roles today: while the Tour riders are resting, I’m going racing. Tonight is the last in my local bike shop’s annual series of ‘have-a-go’ time trials, and marks the end of my (exceedingly modest) competitive riding for this year.
It’s a simple 10-mile dash against the clock, fastest time wins. As always, I have no illusions about winning, or even a high finish: my sole aim is to beat my mate Kevin. In three years, the only time he’s finished ahead of me was when I foolishly decided to ride The Guv’nor and the chain fell off after two miles.
OK, so it’s not Le Tour. But I still get a thrill every time I pin on a number and make the subtle change from bike-rider to racing cyclist. Three-time Tour winner Greg LeMond once said of being a pro, ‘It doesn’t get easier, you just go faster’. Even downhill with a following wind, I won’t match the speeds Fabian Cancellara sustains on the flat. But I’ll have some idea of what he goes through, and that’s good enough for me.


There will be no crowds
Straining to see me start,

No cameras to capture
My grimaces and smooth pedal strokes,

No helicopters overhead
Shadowing me through the lonely miles,

No team car in my slipstream
Loaded with spares and moral support,

No fans along the barriers
Shouting, waving, urging me in,

No soigneur at the finish
With drinks, towels and strong arms waiting:

Just the pain, desire, isolation
And fear of falling short

In my own race.
With only myself to beat.

Maillot jaune: Alberto Contador (Astana)
Green jersey: Thor Hushovd (Cervélo Test Team)
KoM: Anthony Charteau (Bbox Bouygues Telecom)

7 thoughts on “Tour 2010: Répos 2

  1. So, how did your ten-mile dash go? I’m guessing some gentle rain would help on a night like this?

    I love this poem; this speaks to me for life in general, where we’re all running our own race – and our real competition is ourselves. Thanks for sharing. Chloe 🙂

    • ‘Fun’ wouldn’t be the first word I’d choose to describe it..but yes, I had a great ride, thank you. Only managed 27m51s (about 13th overall) but I beat Kevin by 22s, so rode home smiling, as well as wheezing!

  2. No rain but very windy, which definitely doesn’t help! I managed 27 mins 51 seconds, which was good enough for 13th. I beat Kevin by 22 seconds, though, which is what counts! I’m glad you picked up the real meaning in this poem: I feel I’m constantly in a race at the moment, and not standing the pace very well!

    • You see, the main thing is that you beat your friend Kevin! 😀 Hope you are well. I’m feeling a lot better than I was mid-week, so thanks again for your friendship ‘blog-pal’!! What are you going to write about once the Tour 2010 is over? Have a good weekend! Chloe

  3. What indeed? Actually, I’m going on holiday a few days after the Tour finishes, so I’m hoping that, as in previous years, the wild beaches of Brittany will refill the creative well and inspire a whole new collection. Be afraid…

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