47“I have seen that my form for the coming events is good.” David Rebellin, Pro Cyclist on end-of-season fitness
The golden season is here: fields of lush grains ready for harvest; crisp mornings and cozy sunny afternoons; and sunflowers reaching toward the skies for warmth. The leaves are changing roles – falling from proud arbor adornment to gorgeous ground cover.
Bike racing remains serious but releases a new aspect of its mood, invigorated into its final stretch of the season. The world turns toward the Fall Classics in all their colorful glory consisting of more one-day events. Our typical classics nations still play host but now add Spain as a stop.
Spain’s biggest one-day is usually held in August (July in 2011) in Basque country. It favors climbers who can sprint and those carrying form from TdF. Armstrong is the only American to win it. Spanish riders dominate.
Actually starts north in Soissons, France. Long, flattish, with hard cobbled climbs typical of northern classics. Won by tour sprinter Robbie McEwen five times, historically the victory is claimed by riders of diverse abilities. Typically scheduled during La Vuelta a España in this era. No American has ever won it, and Belgians have dominated.
Considered the real start of Fall, the race’s cooler conditions of morning fog and icy breezes cause mass exodus by a largely unacclimated peloton. Only classic not won by Merckx. There have been no American wins here either and Belgians dominate.
Giro di Lombardia “Race of the Falling Leaves” Italy
This is the 5th Monument Race and the routes vary but with a feature that includes a shrine with a museum that contains both cycling and religious objects. Makes sense to me! Fausto Coppi had the last word and most wins of anyone here. Italians typically dominate, and no American has won it yet.
Prayer for Fall Classics
“Be patient, then, brothers…See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm…” 48James 5:7-8
We ask that consistent patience pay off. We ask blessing on the Fall Classics and other significant races of this time, including many national tours in diverse lands. In a spirit of globalization, we pray that other nations also be represented in winning these events.
Ponder What are my favorite fall events? Affirm I enjoy the heightened senses and scenes of the season’s finales. Watch how the earth takes a last hard breath of vibrancy in autumn, and do the same.
47“28th Clásica San Sebastián – ProT Spain, August 2, 2008: Valverde all set for Olympics,” by Bjorn Haake posted on www.cyclingnews.com
48The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society