Monday, September 21, 2020

Dave Vs. Philippe Gilbert

Philippe Gilbert has been one of my favorite road racers for a long time … maybe my favorite road racer ever. He has been the world champion, the Belgian champion, a stage winner in each of the three Grand Tours, and a prolific winner of one-day races. Without question, he is one of the greatest cyclists of all time. So, what does it take to get there? Natural ability, obviously, but also a commitment to training. And what does the latter look like? This:

That’s what Gilbert posted on Instagram yesterday. My training week ended on Sunday too. I don’t have a power meter, so I can’t calculate my Training Stress Score (TSS), but here’s how I measured up otherwise:

Yeah, not even close. In my defense, riding a bike is not my job. I’m actually pretty happy with a 12-hour, 200-mile week this late in the year. The professionals are tuning up for a rapid succession of one-day classics that usually run in spring but this year were moved to autumn by the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe it’s the Tour de France afterglow talking, but I don’t think the classics are going to lose anything for having been rescheduled. Just look at what’s coming in the next 5 weeks:

La Flèche Wallonne, Sep. 30
Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Oct. 4
De Brabantse Pijl, Oct. 7
Amstel Gold Race, Oct. 10
Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Tours, Oct. 11
Scheldeprijs, Oct. 14
Ronde van Vlaanderen, Oct. 18
Paris-Roubaix, Oct. 25

Oh, and this week we have the World Championships and in October we have the “other” two Grand Tours: the Giro and the Vuelta. It’s a good time to be a cycling fan.

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