Championship Strategy/Solo Strategy
30“I like to win alone.” Eve Stephenson, World Champion
Breathlessly the wheels of a solo winner slink away with a whisper as if spoken by 31Garbo from Hollywood’s Golden Age, “Ihh vant to bhe alooonn.” This is a strategy worth employing for a stage, a Classic or a one-day championship. Solo breakaways are the most spectacular of champion strategies. They are the most winsome to work and the most expensive to claim. A champion plays this Ace like high stakes poker held close to the chest and revealed as a final hand.
The mentality of sole survivorship must accompany every champion in every race. Even with the strongest team in the world, a GC leader must still position wisely and ride their best personal performances on key stages. Further, a winner outnumbered in a breakaway must revert to self-preservation. Those amateur days of individual focus for results to secure a pro contract must be utilized occasionally.
It is possible for an unsupported individual to defeat teammates working against one alone. Two are stronger than one but don’t always ride like it. A clever soloist can sometimes capitalize on confusion. Solo strategies forced with the help of team can succeed, but a soloist is often pegged. Often other developing soloists win by outwitting the watched soloist.
In certain events like national championships or Olympic qualifiers or races, riders may not have teammates or behave like teammates even if in the same jersey. Everyone may be riding for the win and tactics used for these races vary greatly from team racing and even from negative local racing where the stakes are not so high. Having a teammate to work with may be a rare blessing, and this is where certain national teams have dominated international events selflessly riding for country. Even then the mentality for one-day championships shifts between team tactics and the awesome responsibility of the solitary winner.
Prayer for Solo Situations
“And so, each of us must give an account to God for what we do.” 32Romans 14:12
We are thankful that we each ultimately stand alone for our deeds and misdeeds. We ask to be strong individual thinkers capable of switching between interdependence and self-reliance.
Ponder What if I’m without help in a target race? Affirm I do what I need to do with or without help if need be. Watch and think as you encounter situations sequestered from team or support.
30Conversation with Dorrie Bowley Martel, who was a rare racer able to defeat Eve Stephenson using similar solo tactics.
31Greta Garbo is known as a reclusive star of the screen during the Golden Era of Hollywood. Her reasons for isolation are mysterious. Mystery mixes well with solitude.