Australia reflects on the past three weeks for Cadel Evans and while first place was not to be it is still a fine effort from an individual sportsman in his own workplace to put up such a battle. While hindsight allows now for many to relent on what could have been and possible opportunities missed it won’t change the result. We may never know the toll paid from the fall Cadel experienced how this affected loss of sustained power outputs. The Tour de France is not for the individual it is a team effort and the strongest team gets the prize. We could say history was being written but it was only history being repeated with the strongest team bringing their chosen champion to victory in the main event.
Like a spider web some say the strongest point is the centre where the web is closer and more intense or it can be argued that the web is only as strong as its attachments at the extremities of the web structure. This race showed a team that was strong overall and Cadel Evans was strong in the intensity of the race but did not have the strength across the whole team to support his strength.
It is hard to comprehend 21 stages of such continued intensity and this is where a strong team makes all the difference where each day there will be another strong supporting group of team riders to step into the gap and provide the protection and coverage for their chosen champion. Lance Armstrong had his Hench men around him when it counted allowing him to sustain his energy and launch the memorable attacks to make the gaps required in time to take the victory many times over.
It would be interesting to know how much power was used by the three top riders. What power was wasted having to cover breaks and close gaps compared to who had the assistance to cover this use of power and sustain more for when it was really needed. The race is that of attrition and demonstrates the tactics of the teams that can stick together and share the work that depletes other teams. Where a consistent tempo can be sustained less power is required to be expended. There is such strength riding in teams not having to fight for wheels having coverage from the head and side winds the encouragement of knowing there is support when required. Teams can sacrifice riders at certain times they can dominate and control the pace.
There are so many parables that can be draw from cycling that can be applied to all avenues of life’s journey. Watching a good working team of individuals will out class top class individual’s in a team. Despite how good an individual may be man is not an island and there will always be dependence required to be drawn from others around them that may well create the breaks open the gaps that allows a champion to shine through.
So when you see the local peleton making their way around Bendigo well known cycling routes there is method in their madness of riding in groups. Groups allow for safety on the road for participating cyclist by having safety in numbers and for the sharing of the work load which makes for more pleasurable riding at a higher level that an individual can achieve solo. While the riding is not of an elite competitive nature adoption of similar strategies are all part of the cycling culture which allows you to be in a team environment and function at your own individual abilities to be stretched or the be a covering of others who at that time may well be being stretched to their limit.
See you on the road soon God willing