Without further ado, in 2015 I believe…
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic with the finish atop the legendary Manyunk Wall. The close atmosphere of the event, combined with a large, high quality field allowed spectators and fans an amazing opportunity to get up close and personal with the action and the main protagonists in the field.
Not only did we watch the Bicycling Classic (which allowed anyone who had a bike and $25 to pin on a number and do a couple laps of the wall) but we were able to watch a brutally hard women's race and an action packed men's race. As the day wore on and we watched as riders suffered for the glory of the win, the QOM/KOM points, the points jersey and even just to stay in the race, it occurred to me that events like the Philly Classic cement cycling's foundation of a sport full of heroes. The more I pondered the events of the day, the more I realized why we react to cycling the way we do.
And honestly, it made me think about who my heroes are. Perhaps you'll consider who yours are as well.
After a harrowing first week that delivered surprises aplenty, the second week of the Tour of Italy was slated to break the race wide open. Those little jabs that were thrown in the first week were slated to become haymakers as the GC contenders stop with the shadow boxing and come out swinging. But some of those GC men were on the back foot and already staggered: defending champion and bib number 1 Hesjedal had two bad days in the ITT and the following mountain stage, conceding nearly 4 minutes and dropping him into 11th place overall. Bradley Wiggins survived the trials and tribulations of the first week, with a good ITT and surviving the following mountain stage without giving up significant ground. But with Vincenzo Nibali resplendent in pink, who would be the one to break his stranglehold of the race?