November 14, 2017

We have mentioned that we were lucky enough to attend the Rouleur Classic in London recently to meet with some great brands and old friends.  We were also able to attend some fascinating talks with athletes past and present, and a real highlight was the chance to hear Alberto Contador.  Charming, affable and committed to giving back to cycling and Espana post pro career, he was a real treat. 

In listening to Contador, we remembered not just the grand tour victories but his re-invention as an attacker in the old school style, throwing caution out for panache and willing to lose in order to win.  We also had cause to think upon the nature of redemption in the same fashion as occurred for David Millar.  Like Millar, Contador straddled two era's and the transition from a pro sport troubled by doping just like other professional sports, to a new era where riders like Cadel Evans could win once more and renew our passion for the sport.

Chapter one for Contador was and will be marred and marked by the positive test and general association with the likes of Bruyneel.  A ban for clenbuterol was challenged but upheld.  A sorry tale and all too common. Chapter two is far more uplifting, and involves redemption, reinvention and ironically a far greater champion.  Rather than slinking away, Alberto decided to reinvent himself,  We think he may have read this poem by Dylan Thomas;

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dauntless attacks, a charitable foundation and a real love for the sport and tifosi mean we will miss El Pistolero and his enthusiasm for racing, but it is clear he will stay involved and chapeau to him.


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