Five climbs

Today’s 169Km stage of the Tour de France from Bourg-Saint-Maurice to Le Grand-Bornand is going to confront the riders with 5 unique battles in a long protracted war. When looking at the relationship between battles and the ultimate success in winning a war, this stage is the perfect metaphor. The profile represents the ups and downs that are synomous with victories and defeats. The riders will be going through many of their own personal highs and lows on this route today.

In his comment on my last posting, Wayne stated that ‘defeating defeat’ only allows you to survive so that you can fight another day. Today in the Alps, many riders will be ‘defeating defeat’ on one of the five major climbs. Surviving one climb at a time, and still be in the position to compete at the next climb will be the objective of most riders. There will be no respite today. No rider will feel comfortable. Everyone will be on the edge. Winning the first 4 climbs, for example, will not necessarily result in ultimate victory. The winner will need to endure the ‘uncomfortable intensity’ of going through 5 significant battles.

This stage is going to be physically demanding. Yet the major challenge will be on the mental level. There will be no guarantees today. It is going to be a grind and with it there is probably going to be some mental scarring.

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