Yesterday’s stage 13 of the Tour de France was a thrilling sight as a gutsy climber named Jérémy Roy and the chase pair Thor Hushovd and David Moncoutie battled out the final 15km. The middle part of the stage included a lengthy mountain climb, and Roy broke free from the peloton early in the climb. From the bottom of the mountain, Roy decided it was going to be his day, and he went for it. By the time he crossed the top of the mountain, he was in leading a full minute ahead of the nearest rider, and exactly eight minutes ahead of the peloton. When Roy crossed the final peak 120km into the 152km stage, he was over a minute ahead of the nearest rider Moncoutie. Roy had made his move, and it was bold test to see if anyone was willing to chase him through the valley.
What’s more, Thor Hushovd, the defending road-biking world champion, was pushing for his first win in the mountains. Up until yesterday, no one believed the lethal sprinter had the stamina to push through the mountain stages with the same speed he has over more forgiving terrain. By the time the riders neared the finish line, it was Hushovd who had successfully chased down Roy.
The attitude embodied by both riders is an excellent model for audacious behavior. On one hand, you have a terrific climber, Roy. He muscled out absolutely all of the energy he had in hopes of beating the entire field on one of the toughest stages. Roy decided early that he wanted to win, and he was going to give everyone a run for their money. On the other hand, Hushvod is a world-champion on the road, refused to let his title define his capabilities when he was outside of his comfort zone in the mountains. The relentless pursuit of speed with hopes of victory was incredible.
I believe Roy will eventually find the additional energy to finish strong the last five minutes of the race because he’s already accomplished in the toughest part, the climb. In other words, be a climber. Attack without hesitation and relentlessly pursue your goal. If you can get through the climb, the finish will come over time.