On my return I have come across three different resources to fuel my interest in performance narratives.
1. Team BMC
James Bennett has posted a great article on the Drum website. In a post titled Cadel Evans and the Armstrong parallels, James points out:
- Cadel Evans’s references to how he structured this year’s season around the Tour de France sounds like what another guy who was good at winning Le Tour used to say.
- Lance Armstrong changed professional cycling by focussing exclusively on riding to win just one race a year (albeit the biggest race of the year).
- He did that with the backing of his directeur sportif, Johan Bryneel, who created a squad of riders whose sole objective was to drag Lance around France, because he believed that Lance could win the race.
- Evans joined forces with American Jim Ochowitz. He is an Olympian who founded the first ever American-backed cycling team, 7-Eleven in 1981. It then became Motorolla after a change of sponsor, and was Lance Armstrong’s entrée into the European peloton in 1992.
- In an interview with the ABC this week, Jim Ochowitz repeats the single-minded mantra Lance wrote about in his best-selling book, It’s not about the bike. “We’re only here for one reason and that is to race for Cadel,” Ochowitz says.
I liked in particular the point Jim made in his interview: BMC has “Tour-winning experience to call on”.
- George Hincapie, was Lance Armstrong’s right hand man, safeguarding the Texan through the incessant bumping and jostling for position in the peloton. Now the American veteran is using his vast tactical experience (this is Hincapie’s 16th Tour de France – equalling the record set by Belgian Joop Zoetemelk) to shepherd Evans through the race.
- In the Tour’s first week, which traversed the often windy flatlands and rolling hills of northern France, it was Hincapie who rode in front of Cadel Evans, keeping him well positioned and safe from a nervous peloton as crashes ended the hopes of many touted as contenders for this year’s race.
2. Hawks’ Huddle
Adam Simpson talks through a Quarter Time Huddle for the Hawks. I found this a fascinating discussion of the practice of information sharing.
3. A Different View of the Tour de France
Sport involves a great deal of ritual. I think this video from Remi Gaillard has some interesting insights into Tour de France rituals.