We all have our cyclocross heroes. For some its Sven Nys or Katie Compton. For others it’s that really fast guy in the pro/1/2 race. For me, it’s Edwin Moses. Not exclusively, but he’s definitely on the list.
For those unfamiliar with Moses, he was the most dominant hurdler of the 1980s, winning gold medals in two olympics and boasting a consecutive win streak of 122 races. To put this into perspective, he did not lose a race for nine years. The guy was driven to win.
Most elite track athletes parse their efforts in early heats and finish just high enough to ensure they qualify for the next round. For Moses, a race was a race, and he was determined to win all of them.
I know what you are thinking. There are examples of these types of people in all walks of sports. Tennis, chess, competitive eating. Every sport at the elite level has someone that is driven to win everything.
So here’s the rub. Moses ran 400m hurdles. A grueling race that is a lung buster from start to end. Sort of like ‘cross. And if you watch Moses compete and then recall that image when you are practicing your barrier work, it all makes sense. The man was silky smooth over the hurdles. His head and shoulders never altered course and he almost never broke stride between obstacles. This is the mental picture I have when running barriers. Off the bike, over the barriers, on the bike. Keep the rhythm. All one motion.
Sometimes though, even the best don’t get it right. And I think it is this video that all of us that race ‘cross can relate to. It’s raining, the course is wet, but you feel good, you’re in the right position and then bam! It’s over. Just like that. So what do you do? You get up, wave to the crowd and go out there next week to start a new winning streak.
Thanks for reading. See you soon.