After watching Ghent-Wevelgem this weekend, I was reminded of how much it takes to win in cycling. (BTW if you race and don’t watch professional cycling you are handicapping yourself. Like any modern day sport, studying film can be a huge help in a non cycling culture like the US) Anyhow, after watching Tom Boonen win the race in a beautiful sprint out of the select group, I was thrilled to see him back at his best. After watching him dominate in the pre-Cancellara era and then have two forgetful seasons in 2010 and 2011, I had counted him out as spent. It was easy to forget the small injuries and health problems that nagged him through those seasons. In 2012 he is proving his class and it is great to watch again.
I have seen so many bike racers get down due to injury, illness, crashing, etc. and not be able to get back in the game mentally. Cycling takes so much out of the body that if your body is hindered in any way it can really be a challenge to perform. Boonen was able to keep it in perspective, fight through it, and come out winning. But even a crazy huge talent like his wasn’t able to overcome his issues without the needed training and most importantly time. It is a good lesson for us all. About not giving up and also about realizing healing is a process and takes time.