Friday, April 9, 2010

David Millar on riding Paris-Roubaix

from Cyclingnews: A reconnaissance of the final 90km on Thursday left him "terrified," but he is looking forward to his first proper shot at the pave. "It scared the shit out of me," said Millar. "Arenberg blew me away, and there were times I thought: oh god, what have I signed up for?"

That's the best and most revelatory sports quote I have ever read. I love that a pro is willing to admit his fear.

Some part of me has been afraid every single time I've ever pinned on a number. I've hit the deck, cramped, or been dropped so damn many times that demons follow me to all my races, and I spend my entire trainer warm-up trying to exorcise them.

That's why I love racing--it forces me to confront and conquer my fears.  During some races, I never get over it; I race puckered the whole time and try just to finish. But sometimes, good legs and a clear heart coalesce, and I race with a wild abandon that helps me produce efforts I didn't know I was capable of making.

On Sunday, I'll be rooting for Hincapie, my favorite albatross bearer. 

But if Millar is able to animate the race at all that'll be enough for me. And I'll be rooting for all of y'all up at the Twin Bing. If I had a working race bike, I'd be right there on the line with you, introducing myself and trying to disguise my fear.

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