Velogal's Blog

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Yikes!! What killer weather for Stage 17 - freezing cold, rain and snow at the top of the mountains. The start was delayed by the riders and officials negotiating. The stage was shortened - the Passo delle Erbe was bypassed, and the last 5k of the Plan de Corones was cut off. The newly paved section to the top just deteriorated into mud - cars and trucks got stuck there, right in the middle of the road. The entire finish had to be moved downhill.

Cycling.tv showed images of snow and windy conditions - really ugly. The riders all suffered so much today from the cold. Piepoli took the stage, with Basso right on his wheel. Ivan didn’t contest it at all - it was the right thing for Ivan to do - Saunier Duval had worked hard at the front, and CSC had not... This is part of the unwritten code of the peloton.

Savoldelli lost his third place to Simoni - they changed places in the GC. Paolo looked like he was really suffering, and his faithful lieutenant, Chechu Rubiera, towed him in. Tommy Danielson slipped even further down in the standings...

Think about all those hard-core fans who headed up the Erbe, God knows how early, and stood around in the freezing cold for hours, only to find out that the race wasn’t even coming by them... Talk about being pissed... I bet there was steam in the snow on that mountain - and it was from the ears of cold, irate fans.

At least the fans who were at the top of the Corones could slog down the last 5k to get to the finish. I noticed that, on cycling.tv, there were some photographers rushing down from the top to the finish line - too late to catch Piepoli and Basso crossing the line. Basso looked like he was freezing on the podium....

Talking about suffering, by coincidence, I was interviewed via phone yesterday by a guy who is writing an article for National Geographic. He had found the paper that I wrote about 5 or 6 years ago, called “Cycling in the Zone”, and wanted to talk with me about cycling and the zone. In that paper, I said that transcending suffering is the zone for cycling, rather than the usual perception, at that time, about the zone being a high or euphoric experience. Certainly, every rider who finished today’s stage had to find some way to get past the cold and suffering, and focus on finishing, rather than their misery.

My paper was published in Athletic Insight - The Online Journal of Sports Psychology. You can follow the Link to their site. But I don't know if my paper is still in their archive or not. It was one of the first papers that they published.

1 Comments:

  • I was on Plan de Corones freezing everything, and we found out too late about the shortened stage to make it down in time to see anything, and then we'd have to hike back up some serious steep hills in white out conditions. No thanks - finally watched the finish on TV. Yep very disappointing.

    By Anonymous Lyne, At 9:17 AM  

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