nah, gazza. that's good stuff.
I saw Alexi at the tour de trump when the prologue was in Albany. I lived up the street. When he was in the start house, on his crest cannondale, some guy yelled out "Alexi, you're a cult hero!" He chuckled, turned his head, and waved. Then he was off.
Great rider. Delusional and conflicted personality. He's perfect for this sport.
I'll tell you what, if he can catch a ride with a pro team and finish a TdF, now that would be unprecedented example of age before beauty on the world class cycling stage, if you don't count J. Longo. I will follow Alexi's progress with interest.
I watched the 84 Olympics live. I thought all was lost but holy smolies. I recorded that whole race - looked like a really boring race to me, ones and twos everywhere, which just illustrates how hard the race was. The Pinarello ads with him winning brought back that emotion for months if not years.
Perfect example of someone losing a war by winning a battle. It's a pretty amazing story, really.
Fascinating reading his stories of the Olympic race and TdF. His comeback attempt is just depressing, especially since the goal of getting a start/finish in his home town is lost. Sure wish he could get more carpenter work.
I also watched it live. I thought at the time that it was a total suicide move. As he came down the hill towards the finish he kept looking back for Bauer but he wasn't there. The whole thing gave me chills. I'd love to watch it again.
I've mentioned before that we had a training ride well before the Olympics that used most of the Olympic course. A group of us knew the roads well and we camped out on the residential sidewalks of Vista Del Lago -- a short but steep climb. Alexi ended up being our hero for quite some time. My roommate (at 6' 2") even bought (and later broke) a replica Pinarello.
We knew that Alexi was a character and a great rider and when he tested positive I was personally depressed. Somehow he wrangled his way through the system and was on the starting line and earned the gold. Our ride home that summer evening was very special.
I won't put it past Alexi to make it into the Quiznos Tour. If he does, there will be plenty of colorful stories.
so here's Alexi's latest post
I would like to tell you why I am doing this and some of the events that transpired that led to my decision to racing a bike again.
I am doing it because I can for one thing. If at any point in the process I had felt it was entirely impossible I would have stopped. But as I have taken each step the next step has appeared, and so being led on, on I go.
My Son was the first person to bring up the subject with me. At the time I had lived two winters in an outbuilding. Close in to downtown, and just adjacent to the Rec Center, Library, and City Hall. I was a little bit dragging, from a lot of different events, and one morning Elijah and I watched “The Rookie” with Dennis Quaid, playing a high school teacher and baseball coach taking and making a shot at the big leagues nearing forty years of age.
Later in that day, as need and habit dictated, we were having lunch in the community kitchen, and Elijah pressed from the reality of it all, was insistent in his thoughts, and finally I broke the silence and told him, “Don’t even think it, Elijah I am too old.” There followed a moment or two of push me pull you, between the two of us and then Elijah let it go. But the seed had been planted.
A year and a half later, I was living somewhere much different, with a lot of privacy, still eating my lunches at the kitchen and running for Mayor. Lance had already announced his intention to help bring a race to Colorado, and I was keeping a lookout for that to happen. When the Quizno’s race was announced, about a year after I ran for mayor, I emailed the Mayor Gutteriez convinced him to bid for the event. Mayor Gutteriez appointed Engaging Loveland and they spent a week preparing a bid along with city officials.
I never for a minute during that time thought of racing in that race or any other. I was just doing what I thought would be a good thing for Loveland. But my Church, had different ideas. It was just natural of them to ask “are you gonna race”. To which I know I answered, “you must be ____ high. It is impossible". When they were insistent I started to anger, finally one guy, Russell, nice green kid, good Christian musician, songwriter, piped up with “come on where is your faith? Maybe it is God’s will! I got back right in his face, where is my faith? I was angry, but right too, and as I told him what I really thought I saw innocence in his eyes, and he was not afraid.
Now I had to consider it. And I did. And I knew I had to go for it. It came with as a burden, and it remains as a call. It began as a seed, was watered by circumstance and my churches challenge to do it, and grows steadily with every mile I go. In one month I will be racing a four day Cat ½ stage race. What began as love in the heart of my Son, has become an obligation, and a command. That is the Jesus that I know.
What I'm wondering is this: as a former pro cyclist and gold medalist. As a guy who probably didn't go as far as he could have because he was a loose cannon and probably a bit of a hot head and ahole and despite being 50 is this really that big of a deal. He's not doing the Pro, 1 race. He's doing the pro 1, 2. He's been putting (if his posts are to be believed) monster miles in. If he were to place in the top five I wouldn't be particularly shocked. Granted he could also easily be pack fodder, but I'm not seeing this as tossing some four into Paris-Nice without a map.
I don't know, man. I give him all the credit in the world for getting back into it after such a long layoff, no matter what category.
It's not that I don't give him credit, I just have a hard time framing it as something other worldly or incredibly insane. If he showed up to race spring classics or on some continental pro team I'd have a different reaction.
Last edited by gsteinb; 01-28-11 at 09:37 AM.
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike
Cool video and story. Thanks for sharing!
I understand gsteinb's point. The blog might be a bit overdramatic, however everyone has their motivations, especially someone who clearly had his demons in the past.
I mean basically we're talking about Alexi lining up against guys like, uh, me. Fast guys too, but I could be in that race. Granted I'm a self hating Jew, err, cyclist, but you get my point.
Did he have a downward psychological spiral after he quit racing? That's what I seem to gather from some of the posts he's made. If that's the case then it becomes more interesting.
Rast ich so rost ich. (When I rest, I rust)
Time to put the R2C shifters on the TT bike.