Spiderman and His Climbing Monkey
How can anyone be such a great cyclist and look so ungainly on a bike? Does this not violate a basic tenet of V-philosophy? Would he not be faster if his knees and elbows were tucked in neatly, aligned with his forward motion?
On riding style alone Quintana has a huge edge, he just looks good as he climbs. He should be able to summon some extra V just on the looking-good-is-feeling-good-factor.
Pinot versus Bardet: Pinot always looks like he is in a fight with his bike on the uphills. Again, wouldn’t less fighting and more souplesse translate into more speed? Like Tommy ‘man of a thousand faces’ Voeckler, his climbing style of off the back, sprint forward, out of the saddle, jersey open, drift off the back again…and repeat. It makes no sense but the guy gets it done.
Looking good on the rivet on the flats is easier: a flat back, everything tucked in, body pulled low over the bike, almost everyone looks pretty awesome going hard when the terrain is level. Put the road into double digit ascent and everything comes off the rails. One’s inner climbing monkey comes out and some monkeys just look better than others. It’s not a reflection of inner beauty or Hardness or a life more cleanly lived. To paraphrase Don ‘puddin’ face’ Rumsfeld, you climb with the monkey you got, not the climbing monkey you wish you had.
My monkey is a slothie, sweaty old beast with one paw in the grave. It’s always been my monkey and we have become good friends. Froome’s is a Sumatran spider monkey, hopped up on a diet of buffo toads and fermented bananas. When that monkey appears, everyone better get out of the way.