Theory & Practice

There are many theories about training, and many ways, in practice, of applying them.

Theory: Train your weakness, race your strengths-
Practice: If you are not a climber, do hilly bike rides with excellent riders who can rip your legs off at will, my heart was raging in the low 190’s as I shot this, Keith was at 160.

Theory: watching the scenery makes climbing feel less painful
Practice: it kind of works… briefly… maybe that’s how racers make it through the Tour & the Giro.

Theory: A brick falls faster than a kite-
Practice: on the downhills, Keith, it’s your turn to chase! ; )

Theory: Make sure your equipment matches the requirements of the activity
Practice: I’m wearing one of my father’s Jerseys that’s probably 30 years old, oozes 70’s vibe, and is made from magical fibers called “wool” shorn from a mythical creature known as a “sheep”.

Theory: Bad, tasty habits are the hardest ones to break.
Practice: My brother bought me daily diet cokes when I was in Texas, now I drink them all the time, damm!!

Listen carefully, & you can hear my brother & John Dimon laughing at/with me, as they welcome me to this foul addiction. I suppose there are worse things to be eating. I do drink the splenda version, not the evil aspartame that is present in most diet sodas.

Theory: When feeling down, watch videos of old races to get psyched up for training hard again.
Practice: YouTube.

Someday the current crop of elite skaters will be retired, & what has been done on pavement & ice will be gone. But video on the internet is forever!

There is so much on Youtube that is amazing, just a search for names like Sven Kramer & it brings up all sorts of beautiful skating!

However, for some reason, my mind is still on the bike:

I had read many accounts about the finish of the 1989 world championships, where Laurent Fingion and Greg Lemond went at it in a horrific rainstorm.

And this morning, I happened across it on YouTube. WOW! This is some of the most exciting, freakishly ballsy crazy road racing I have ever seen. They had already raced over 100 miles by the time this video starts.

Fingion & other riders are desperately trying to get away from Lemond’s well known finishing speed, Lemond chases down everything, & then the pack is joined at the very end by an exhausted Sean Kelly, who was the best road sprinter of that generation. Insane racing.

Greg Lemond once said: “it doesn’t get any easier, you just get faster”. This finish meant something special to him, as a photo of him coming across this line first is the top right photo on Greg’s own website.

14 Responses to “Theory & Practice”

  1. Andrew! Great riding! Keep it up!

    Thanks for the video of a great World Championship finish.

    To see the talent in that group was unbelievable. Fingon was dominent in many races. Greg’s exploits speak for themselves. Sean Kelly was perhaps one of the most dangerous road sprinters ever. Steven Rooks I think won Alp D’Huez ( the Dutch used to make that climbe their own in the 80’s for some reason ). Koneshev was one of the first Russian pros to make it big and was capable of winning in many situations. He certainly had a good finishing sprint. Wow!

    Can someone confirm this for me? I seem to remember that Lemond had a crash some 20 km or so from the finish and his rear wheel was rubbing on the brake pads, so he opened up the rear brake for the rest of the race. I couldn’t tell from the video. If true, those down hills must have been double the fun!

    Enjoy the saddle time!


  2. yes, Lemond did open up the rear brake & rode on a squirrly rear wheel, I remember that now…

    Lemond was known as one of the most fearless downhill riders in the Pro Peloton. When asked about the risks he takes, he said “no one takes risks like that for money, no matter how much, it’s about something else”.

    Koneshev is STILL racing, he is 5 years older than me!!!

    Something I did not know from written accounts, was Steve Bauer’s flat tire, gosh, race that far & that hard, & get a flat at exactly the WRONG moment!!!..

  3. speaking of road biking the norwegean national team is now sponsored by trek you would think a US bike company would support US athleats what wrong with this picture????

  4. Wow! What a video! I recall when Lemond raced through the Lehigh Valley (Bethlehem, PA) back when there was a race called the Tour DuPont and then the Tour de Trump. I watched Greg come into the finish after having seen him ride up the extremely steep roadways on the Lehigh University Campus, then to watch the peloton cascade down the south side of South Mountain (behind the Bethlehem Steel Research Center) towards Center Valley. It was an amazing spectacle and I’ve not seen many others attack an uphill climb or a hairy descent like Lemond has. The experience was definitely inspiring.

  5. Geez! My heart rate was 192 watching that video!

  6. I just picked up road cycling for my cross-training, summer training (break from indoor) and commuting to work, and I find it really exhilarating. Nothing beat getting into office after a good 20 minute sprint. It seems most skaters also do cycling? Hope to see more cycling stuff from your blog.

  7. and ANdy Hampsten was in this WORLDS as well,
    riding his shiny new 7 11 team issue Merckx…

    I still have mine…Arent I cool..

  8. wow, thanks for that vid.

    was quite a while before I ever heard of road racing and it was nice to have a look at such an exciting last few km.


  9. Youtube also has LeMond vs Fignon’s final time trial into Paris in ‘89, when LeMond showed up on the tricked out TT bike with aerobars. In that TT LeMond makes up over 50 seconds on Fignon and wins the Tour de France by 8 seconds.

  10. And here I am searching YouTube for silly comedy clips…

  11. C’mon guys. Ancient bike races like the “Tour DuPont” and “Tour De Trump” don’t have anything to do with speed skating, do they?

  12. No, not really, but just alluding to the experience of watching a “machine” on wheels is just as inspiring as watching Andrew, or any other sprinter on the oval ice.

  13. cycling and speedskating also have in common: they’re both vastly under-spectated (so to speak)in the US!

  14. Maybe my favorite World Championship race - OK, together with Gerrie Knetemann’s legendary win at the Nuerburgring in 1978.
    There are so many, many things that can be told about this race that I watched on holidays (a bike tour through mid/southern France that year) in a little French village cafe together with Frenchmen who were quite passionate but not always expert (”Ducrot? Mais c’est un francais!” No, Maarten is really a Dutch guy….).
    The race was a 170 mile race in which the first 150 miles not that much happened, but one thing was very significant: the wind changed in direction. Because of that, it started to rain on the course. But there was something else: because of that the competitors had the wind behind them on the finish straight. Kelly, the fastest sprinter by far in the leading group, had not counted on this at the start of the race. He expected a sprint with the wind coming at him from the other direction and because of that he had a ‘13′ at the back as his “maximum gear”. Both Lemond and Konyshev had a ‘12′, maybe not even with the sprint finish in mind, but just to give some extra speed on some downhill parts. And so top sprinter Sean Kelly lost the dash to the finish, even though he never took the lead and let the others react, and was in a completely ideal position to get past Lemond in the finish straight.

    There are a lot of other things to tell about this great, great event, team tactics, secret alliances, team mates effectively fighting each other (Claveyrolat wanted to win either for himself or his friend Mottet, but certainly not to help Fignon -and vice versa!). Let me say just that Greg was an extremely deserved winner. Contrary to ‘high brow cyclist logic’ he exhausted himself by reacting at every attempt by the other guys, especially Laurent Fignon - and still beat them all!

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