Friday, May 17, 2013

41 The New 30? And, Yes, Character Does Indeed Count.

41-year old Jens Voigt solo's to victory, Stage 5 ATOC.  "Shut-up, Legs!"

When Jens Voigt crossed the finish line on Stage 5 of the Amgen Tour of California (ATOC), all suddenly felt normal with the world again.  By breaking up the pack, and then completely outsmarting all of the "Youngsters" in the peleton, he proved that age is but a number, and that Good Guys can still finish first. 

Voigt, the eldest member of the Pro Peleton at 41-years of age, allows me to take great joy in this event for a few reasons.  One, I myself are North-of-Forty in age.  Two, as much as I like bike races, my least favorite finish is the chaotic "Sprint Finish."  See, anytime these creatures can be denied their sole existence for living, brings me nothing but complete joy.  Bicycle races are won by strength and brains, not by sucking someone's wheels.  Voigt did just that.  And on that note, point three is Tyler Farrar's long-awaited (and overdue) win on ATOC's Stage 4.  Well done, lad.

Jens Voigt, Tyler Farrar and Thor Hushoved on the ATOC Stage 5 Podium

However, I do not hate sprinters, as there are some pretty good guys in that bunch of specialized athletes.  But, just as there is Light and Darkness in the world, you have your nice sprinters (the Light) and you have your complete assholes, aka, the Darkness.  The nice sprinters are people like Thor Hushovd, Tyler Farrar, Andre Greipel, Heinrich Haussler, and Peter Sagan.  The are all good sprinters.  They are gracious in winning and losing, and they all see bicycling as something bigger than themselves.  I also predict Peter Sagan will take this level of class to a whole new level in the years to come.

As for the Darkness, while there are some riders people claim to be mean-spirited, no one, and I mean no one takes the title of complete Asshole like Manxman, Mark Cavendish.  Classless in wining and losing, he represents the unproductive side of cycling, filled with, and represented by, self-centered, sanctimonious people whom see life and others as props to be used for their own benefit.  In short - They are just flat-out not nice people.

See folks, character counts for something, and just outright winning-for-winnings-sake is as old as sin itself.  Jens' win (and Farrar's) brought back some class that cycling was really beginning to forget.  We thank you for that, Jens.   

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