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Tom Zirbel: That’s Bike Racing

Tom Zirbel (Jamis-Sutter Home) on the long lonesome TT course.

Tom Zirbel (Jamis-Sutter Home) on the long lonesome TT course. (Image credit: Jon Devich/

I actually kind of hate that cliché even though I’ve been known to use it from time to time. It’s a very versatile cliché. It pretty much encompasses all that can go wrong during a bike race. “I flatted at the base of the climb. That’s bike racing.” “That dude chopped me in the last corner, but that’s bike racing.” “There was a crash directly in front of me and I had no where to go, but …”

To work so hard and have everything be on track only to have your opportunity snatched from you is for me the hardest thing to accept in this sport. But I know full well how much hard work and detail (and luck!) goes into a perfect ride. There are probably three times as many staff as riders at this race, if that gives you any indication. And the staff is often working sun up to sun down. As I said in an earlier post, we are a team working together toward a common goal. And if something goes wrong, we don’t point fingers and we don’t lay blame. We work together and move forward.