Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Gilbert Great

Tom Boonen isn't the only amazing young Belgian cyclist in the pro ranks. Yesterday, Philippe Gilbert, still just 23 years old, won the second stage of the Dauphine Libere by soloing across the line five full minutes ahead of the pack.

Photo courtesy of Luc Claessen

Early in the season, Gilbert also won the Belgian semi-classic Het Volk with a huge late attack and a solo ride across the finish line.

To be honest, it always kind of makes me mad when guys much younger than me win pro races. Now that I'm closer to 30 than 20, it's not that rare of an event. Cycling, for the most part, is a young man's sport. But to know that I waited so long to get into the sport always frustrates me, since the very best of the best have been racing for ten years by the time they're 24. I'm 27 and this is still my first full season.

That and I suck. I guess sucking frustrates me more than my age. Anyway, at least I can relive my lost youth vicariously through the exploits of Boonen, Gilbert, Thomas Dekker and all the other kids in the peloton, and rest assured that some day they'll be old and gone while I'm tearing up the local masters' races.