Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lance behind by a Swiss Second

Team Astana put on an incredible performance today in a team time-trial event, winning Stage 4, and leaving Lance Armstrong just milliseconds behind Fabian Cancellara. More impressive still is the overall standing of Team Astana, with riders in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th place, they OWN the field. Beyond that, they put 2-3 minutes of time on the big threats in the race.

Tomorrow will be hot, windy and flat, and should favor strong team riding, so there's a good chance Lance will take the yellow jersey tomorrow. I want to watch the Verses coverage before commenting further on today's event, but wanted to share this thrilling result.

UPDATE: Not much to watch on a team time-trial, but watching team after team make errors and outright blunders, I feel compelled to say that winning in many, many things is about attending to many, many small details. It is a rare human endeavor where a good field of competition has not already found all of the larger elements of success, leaving only a blizzard of little details left to you to exploit on your way to victory.

Perfectionism, far from being a disease, as our current cultural ebb insists, is the mark of someone who knows their business. It has always been so, and always will be so. Only a fool thinks otherwise. It isn't a substitute for leadership skills, or a great attitude, but it is very necessary to succeed in any contest. One can only hope that Trunk's pilot, surgeon or electrician has taken her advice to heart so we will soon be rid of this cultural siren of mediocrity.

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