Yesterday while we raced the 4th in Burien at the Matava crit, a Seattle-area classic, the announcer mentioned how Tyler had raced there as a junior so many times in the past. I’d watched him there, raced a few races he was in, and followed his progress to a Pro Tour racer with pride too. Today was a tough day for Tyler and he lost his normal, reserved cool. Eurosport UK covers what happened during Stage 5 in an well-written article.
For three consecutive days, Farrar has been thrown off his bike and cheese-grated by the awaiting tarmac; for three days, instead of competing for wins the American knows he’s capable of, Farrar has been reduced to leaving pools of blood over various roads of France; for three days, the 28-year-old from Washington has probably been reading on internet forums about how he’s past it, while looking down at scabs and bruises and wondering just how he’s feasibly meant to get back on it.
Earlier I linked to a YouTube video on Twitter that shows a shaken Tyler paying the Argus bus a visit to talk to Tom Veelers, whom he blames for the crash.
In a sport many of us old racers feel is over-marketed, cynical, and corrupt with catered-to-personalities and boring, pre-determined races; this shows how chaotic, real, and emotional it really is on the road. On the world’s stage today is what you’d see at a local race after a contested sprint when the testosterone is coursing through bulging veins and the emotions are running high. It’s not the slick version shown on TV with HUMAN graphics from NBC Sports; as if Cuddles was touchy feely.
This is as real, raw, and human as it gets from a blue-collar, working man’s sport. Not one that was made for Fondo hospitality tents with California wine and cheese. Tyler must have avoided the marketing and PR staff looking for him to get to the bus and I’m sure regrets it afterwards, but fewer true words have been spoken in the sport recently than…
In Road to Valor, Aili and Andres McConnon chronicle Bartali’s journey, starting in impoverished rural Tuscany where a scrawny, mischievous boy painstakingly saves his money to buy a bicycle and before long, is racking up wins throughout the country. At the age of 24, he stuns the world by winning the Tour de France and becomes an international sports icon.
But Mussolini’s Fascists try to hijack his victory for propaganda purposes, derailing Bartali’s career, and as the Nazis occupy Italy, Bartali undertakes secret and dangerous activities to help those being targeted. He shelters a family of Jews in an apartment he financed with his cycling winnings and is able to smuggle counterfeit identity documents hidden in his bicycle past Fascist and Nazi checkpoints because the soldiers recognize him as a national hero in training.
ESPN ran an excerpt from Road to Valor last month and I find the story very interesting. Other recommendations from Amazon include Tour Climbs and Cycling, Wine, and Men: A Midlife Tour de France . After seven break-ups in seven years, the author knew it was time for a change. The cure for her dating blues? A 700-mile cycling expedition from Bordeaux to the Alps.
We’ve also put all of our gear on sale for 20% off through the end of July. That’s on our best-ever kit, socks, and caps.