24 January 2006

Amen, brother!

If you haven't yet seen Erik Tonkin's Belgium report on Cyclocrossworld.com, go there now. If you don't have the time or inclination, at least click through to Part II, and read his last paragraph, some of which includes this:

I can only speak for myself, but I have long ago abandoned goals based on how I place in races. I’m not the best, so I can rarely make a play at winning a big race. I mean, I’ve never even won a UCI race of any stripe back home. Here, of course, winning isn’t even an option. I’m realistic, but I’m also driven to succeed. It’s just that I define success in a relative way: I want to perform better than before, constantly improving until I finally reach—and acknowledge—my plateau as an athlete.
I believe that such a plateau is mostly mental, so I'm not sure that acknowledging it is healthy in a "I will get better" sort of way. But I like where he's coming from otherwise! And, oh yeah, he's racing Worlds next weekend!


chris h. said...

chris, you have to post your picks to win worlds. i've got nys and bysette.

Chris said...

Um, ah, ahem ... no idea? I can take a guess, but that's all it'll be -- I'm no good at picking winners!

Men's podium: Nys, Vervecken, Wellens. Nys takes off with one of the other two, with the second blocking, and complete yet another Belgian 1-2-3. Could be Vervecken *or* Wellens in either order after Nys. We'll see! Page in 23rd or 24th, with the next closest U.S. rider in 37th or 38th.

Women's podium: I know the names, but not all the strengths, but here it is: Melchers, Vos, Kupfernagel, with Bessette just missing in 4th. Could be a toss-up between those three though. Much closer race than the men! Best U.S. riders in 15th-20th, probably Ann Knapp and Barbella, maybe Vardaros.

Bjorn will have an awesome ride (since I bought so many things to support him from Madcross.org!) but will come up short ... I'm guessing he'll be our best Junior in 7th or 8th.

In the Espoirs, Troy will again suffer serious problems and be 12th-15th.

I hope I'm wrong with these!