For those who didn’t know, Jens Voigt rode in his final stage yesterday as a pro and he did so in typical Jensian fashion, he was out front in the breakaway until the last of four 10 km loops around the finish in the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado. He dropped ten of eleven in that breakaway before being swallowed up by the peloton himself.
And unlike many in a breakaway, he didn’t fall away to the back, or off the back entirely (as can so often be seen in other cyclists). No, he stayed right out front and smiled, offering a thumbs up and pointing to his mate as his teammate tried an attack of his own while the lead chasers tried to catch their breath.
Part of the commentary towards that last lap at the lead for the Jensie eluded to many of the domestiques being glad for his retirement because he hurts them when the job of chasing down his breakaways falls on their shoulders…
This is, perhaps and in my opinion, one of the greatest compliments in cycling. Many people mistakenly believe that respect is given to the horses, that it’s all, “He’s great” or “She’s tough”… That’s not the case at all. No, it’s backhanded compliments that show your place in the group, whether the pro peloton or your local club ride. If the group is giving you a tough time, if they rib you, that’s when you know you belong. That’s when you know they care.
Celebrate it… Enjoy it… Revel in it.
One more time folks, shut up legs!
Don’t let that one die – it should be just as common as LeMond’s “it doesn’t get easier, you just go faster”.
And congratulations to Jens Voigt on an awesome 17 year career… Thanks for making the sport more fun to watch, and thanks for making me feel like a wuss, ya jerk… I’m only a year older.