Yes, for the first three stages it seemed as if the person who could stay upright on his bike the longest would be the winner in Paris.
This year’s Tour was built as a showdown between Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador. That might still happen. But the crashes have changed the dynamic of the tour, including playing havoc with the standings and causing riders to abandon the race with various broken body parts.
Cyclists expect that crashes will happen. That’s not the goal, but it’s part of the gig. At times, if you work to avoid the crash, you can end up causing more damage.
Things can change after a crash — sometimes dramatically, sometimes subtly. But always we get up. We move forward with the rush of adrenaline and then we evaluate. Do we need time to recover and heal? Are the injuries minor enough to allow us to continue on the same path? Or do we continue with an altered game plan?
The crash can be literal or metaphorical. But either way, sometimes the crash is the better option. Sometimes the crash could be the best thing that ever happened to us — yet we don’t quite know how or why in the immediate moments. Maybe we needed another game plan. Maybe we needed to rest. Maybe we needed a new direction or an attitude adjustment.
Perhaps the most important part is not the actual crash and its immediate aftermath but rather learning to not fear the crash. In fact, the crash can become an opportunity — to learn about your strength, your passion, your support crew, your own definition of yourself.
The crash itself is no fun. The recovery isn’t always a cakewalk either.
But sometimes, we need to crash, even if we don’t always understand why. Because if we never crash, then we’ve never taken a chance. We let opportunity sit just out of reach. What if we crash? Well, that just allows a different kind of opportunity to unfold in front of us.