Podium Cafe posts are often very entertaining. As we get very close to another Tour de France there is plenty of anticipation in the leadup. In “Tour de France: 5 riders whom you maybe aren’t sure why they’re going” they highlight 5 pro cyclists who have never achieved very much at the top level for various reasons. Not to say they won’t have some success this year. It’s just that they are not stars.
The thing is, most of the participants in this event or in any lineup of sporting professionals are in that category. The top tennis players at Wimbledon this year will make the finals. Getting there means playing others who have been around for many, many years and who never really made a mark or a name for themselves.
In the Tour this year there will be a host of elite-level racers who qualify to be there. Their time as professionals may be longer or shorter than others. The majority of them will never be stars, who are only very few at the top.
There are number of reasons behind participation in competitive cycling from the participants’ viewpoint. One thing is certain, without all those cyclists who never shine, there would be no professional elite level in any sport. The stars shine against the dark background.
Everywhere in every sport at every level, from the world-class elite down to the most local level there are a few that shine and most that don’t. But the key is participation.
Mr. Hsieh is 60 and has been a keen and extremely capable cyclist for many years. He runs a high-end bike shop and organizes weekend cycling adventures on a variety of routes. Participants can be assured the route will be challenging but achievable, no matter what your level with plenty of support just in case trouble strikes on the road.
This week Alishan was the destination with dozens of cyclists gathering at the 35km mark on Route 18 to commence the climb to the 89km mark and a total of over 1800m of vertical ascent.
Many in the group were strong, confident cyclists who were taking the opportunity to practice for the Alishan challenge coming up on July 3. The quick ones did in a few hours
Most took a bit longer and enjoyed a morning’s cycling with friends. As the sun grew hotter, the air grew cooler as everyone climbed towards the 2,200m mark where lunch was waiting.
Thanks to the elite sportsmen and women who participate and create entertaining and exciting, and often inspiring, events for spectators and fans.
Congratulations to all those who participate in any way and at any level of achievement.