Tables were turned this week when Christopher T. Smith, PR Helmeteer at Lazer Helmets, interviewed yours truly for his blog. It was fun but Chris sort of stomped me when he asked ‘what’s the most amazing thing you have seen so far in a race?’ I couldn’t find just one thing.
Well, the question stayed with me, what is the most amazing thing I have seen so far in a race? Quite a few memories have since then popped up. Memories such as the Tour of California stage in the yellow chalk dust when we were waiting for the charging field, we could hear them coming but could not see them through the yellow clouds, coughing and waiting, and suddenly they emerged with Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen sprinting at the front. An image of sharks came to mind. Wow, an amazing sensory experience.
Watching Ina-Yoko Teutenberg attack to re-claim a deficit of 1:23 on the final stage, a crit, to win the overall at San Dimas Stage Race. What a show of force. Riveting.
Or how about another Tour of California stage when mother nature threw everything she had at the riders, sideways rain, hail, wind, cold, and still they persevered. That day was a rollercoaster of emotions in the team car with Ben Jacques-Maynes in the break on a stage that finished in his hometown, his twin brother Andy crashed out and was taken to a hospital and yet the riders persevered. Hands swollen, faces swollen, shaking in their cold, wet clothes and still they persevered as they do in every race. And then one by one, the riders in the break cracked and only one made it to the finish ahead of the dwindling chase.
Ben King‘s amazing ride at US Pro Nationals this year. Jeff Louder holding off a chasing field, solo, at the tough, very tough, Park City Crit at Tour of Utah. The Daniel Holloway flyer where he had fun with the crowd at Philly. The crowds at the SF Grand Prix – man I miss that race.
From the 2009 US Cyclocross Nationals in Bend, I distinctly remember being amazed by the women jr 10/12 field that lined up at 8:30am, with temperatures below freezing, bundled up but still shivering, some crying due to the cold. But they lined up and raced hard with family and friends cheering one and all.
Speaking of cross, how about the final USGP in Portland this year? From the first race in the series, the battle for the title was on between teammates to culminate on the final weekend. No holds barred, full on racing – amazing racing – between Jeremy Powers and Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) where the winner was not known until the duo turn that last corner the final time before the finish line. Powers’ joy when he crossed the line, arm raised, could be felt by everyone present. Amazing duel.
Watching Katie Compton glide over sand and Sven Nys‘ mastery of his bike on technical, muddy courses. Jaw-dropping.
As you may have noticed by now, most of the amazing moments are deeply emotional events which resonate strongly with me. That led me to wonder.
What does amazing mean? Are these moments amazing?
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of amazing is ‘causing amazement, great wonder, or surprise’.
I guess that works. Looking more into it, the synonyms are ‘surprising, astonishing, astounding, blindsiding, dumbfounding, eye-opening, flabbergasting, jarring, jaw-dropping, jolting, shocking, startling, stunning, stupefying.’
Well, I would say that the moments I listed fit this category. Thank you Chris for reminding me why I love this sport throughout the ups and downs. It’s a beautiful thing.
And so many more. It’s your turn - share some of the amazing things you have seen at a race.