One of the great things about being a young rider is the impression of bursting on the cycling scene. The cycling press is always looking for a new fresh story to tell. A new fresh face is just the way to do it.
Well, Paris-Nice champion Alberto Contador has officially burst on the scene. After a strong showing in the semi-official (it was official until the ProTour spat) opening of the cycling season, Alberto has the world at his cleats.
The downside of being young is you will inevitably become the next (insert name of great rider here). In Spain, of course, Alberto is being called the next Miguel Induarain.
Some riders such as Abraham Olano have cracked under the “next” banner. In basketball, I remember Michael Jordan being called the next Dr. J. His response is that he wanted to be the first Michael Jordan. Lance Armstrong endured being the next Greg LeMond. Now we are all looking for the next Lance Armstrong.
I know it is natural to look for new eras to dawn after the last era has set. In ten years will Spain continue to look for the next Induarain or will they be looking for the next Contador?
Editor’s note. My apologies for the few days of silence. I lost my uncle Friday night and left the laptop unused over the weekend. Uncle Joe was one of the strongest men I ever met. Not only physically as he owned a piano moving business but psychologically and in character. He was the classic Irishman. First to arrive and last to leave. It was impossible to have a bad time with him in the room. In the end, he left on his own terms making his own final arrangements to remove the burden on his wife and children. He could not make one last St. Patrick’s day nor his 79th birthday on Sunday but with everything completed, he allowed cancer to take him with his family by his side. He was a champion in every sense of the word.