Cycling Wed

Cycling Wed: My favorite TDF story so far…

In America, and in the doctor’s lounge, news about the Tour de France parallels news about Lance.

But ask bike racers what they think is the most compelling story of this year’s Tour, and Lance is far down the list.

That’s OK for me, it doesn’t diminish the most colossal bike race ever.

Want a bike racer’s favorite story of this year’s Tour?  Look no farther than the German rider Jens Voight. He is not a household name in America, but if Americans studied his story, he surely would be.

In the bike racing fraternity, Jens is famous for his raw power, not just pure wattage output, but more the power of his inner spirit.  He is selfless (a rare commodity in bike racers), a consummate teammate, and he exemplifies the ethos of taking pride in one’s work.  Further adding to his coolness is that no doping investigation has ever implicated him.

Check the pedals

During yesterday’s stage, Jens’ crash on the first mountain descent provides the byline for my favorite story of the Tour. Despite injured ribs and disseminated road rash, he mounts a junior-sized bike with old-fashioned pedals and rides miles until the team car can get him a new bike.

He refuses the broom wagon. “Oh, no, I do not need you.”

Here is the video of the interview after the stage.  Classic Jens.

Teamwork in anything, be it medicine, marriage, or sport, requires the sacrificing of personal goals for the greater good.  For me, a previous runner, swimmer and triathlete, the camaraderie of cycling is its most compelling feature.