By Wendy Booher
Scott Moninger's career has been both extensive and successful, yet at 40 years of age, Team BMC's Scott Moninger isn't done yet. He began racing when many of his fellow racers, like the emerging espoir riders in America's Team Slipstream, had barely uttered their first words. The guys who raced with Moninger in the so-called prime years have since checked into a life which includes nine-five jobs, weekends off, bedtime stories, and where cheesecake is back on the menu.
Some of his peers still race, albeit vicariously through the teams they manage. For those former riders turned team managers being defeated by Moninger in their heyday was punishing, but seeing him continue to win, showing the new generation that wisdom can trump speed, must be equally as brutal.
"At this point in the game, my age is just a number," said Moninger. "I'm one of the older guys racing but I think the length of time that people can stay at the top of their game has gone up in the last decade or so. For example, Roger Clemens [major league baseball's most decorated pitcher] just signed a ridiculous contract at 45 years old. I never dreamed I'd be racing a bike at age 40 but what matters is the ability to get out of bed and do the work on the road no matter whether you're 28, 32, or 40."
Another thing that helps is Moninger's wife, Kelly, who he met on the race circuit 15 years ago when she worked as a soigneur for the Chevrolet/LA Sheriffs team. They spent one season working for the same Coors Light team, although they were often dispatched to different races.
That she understands and even consents to the lifestyle of a professional bike racer has had an immeasurable effect on Moninger's career. When they met and eventually married, she already knew what she was getting into, which meant that his future as a professional racer was mutually understood.
Moninger pre-dates the modern gadgetry associated with optimized training, instead of consulting LCD screens to gauge his performance; he relies on a more organic 'trial and error' method of training. After 25 years of racing Moninger has learned that listening to his body, learning from his mistakes and not allowing himself to get too unfit is simply the best training method there is.
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