Echoes of Magilla

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Clot Felter, Dec 31, 2004.

  1. "Tom Kunich" <cyclintom@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    >>>
    >>> I gotta tell you Erin that there were guys out there that worked a lot
    >>> harder than you did and just didn't have the genetic tools to begin
    >>> with.

    >>
    >> Tom,
    >>
    >> I know this specific statement was not the overall point you were trying
    >> to make, but there were probably few, very very few people who have
    >> worked harder in cycling than Erin did in the peak 5 or 6 years of his
    >> career.

    >
    > Well, maybe that didn't come out right. But there WERE a lot of people
    > that worked hard, no doubt much harder than Erin, but just didn't have the
    > tools to come anywhere near Erin or Marty and their like. You just never
    > see them because like Fast Freddy, they never go anywhere.
    >


    Trying to claim a title of the Hardest Working Cyclist is about like trying
    to prove a negative. I saw Erin rise from a raw talent as a junior and as an
    ignorant, undisciplined first year senior. He had the good fortune of being
    guided (sometimes roughly, but guided nonetheless) by people like Roger
    Young, Roger's father Clair, Dan Vogt, and Curt Harnett. They helped Erin
    develop as a person and an adult as much as a cyclist. Erin became the Fed's
    kilo rider, but there wasn't a kilo coach to help Erin specialize. Not only
    did Erin put in more physical work than anyone else, he had to become self
    coached. The Feds were there as support, but Erin had to figure out things
    for himself for much of his career. While other riders had coaches and
    sports scientists to make their plans, Erin read the books himself to
    develop his own plans. Erin dedicated every aspect of his life to becoming a
    faster rider for the better part of a decade.

    Erin is an intense individual whose emotions get the best of him on a number
    of occasions, but you always knew where he was coming from: he was trying
    his damnedest to be the best kilo rider in the world, and if you were in his
    way or weren't in his camp you could possibly find yourself on the receiving
    end of a verbal lashing. Erin at times could be either inspirational or a
    jerk.

    Once Erin found his primary goal in cycling, he focused on the kilo to a
    degree I have not seen surpassed by anyone. I did not spend much time at all
    around Lance, but everything I know indicates to me that they are similarly
    intense, passionate, and driven to their particular objectives. It's just
    that Erin chose an event that is not a glamourous one and his efforts were
    rewarded with but a minute fraction of what Lance or Nothstein have earned
    financially. I believe Erin did as much with his talents as he possibly
    could and should be considered a 'failure' for never winning a gold medal
    about as much as Shane Kelly (Aussie three time world kilo champ) would be
    for never winning Olympic gold, which is to say not at all.
     


  2. Peter Allen

    Peter Allen Guest

    "Tom Kunich" <cyclintom@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:vOGBd.14675$RH4.9503@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    > "Carl Sundquist" <carlsun@cox.net> wrote in message
    > news:tNlBd.12227$c%.11996@okepread05...
    >>
    >> "Tom Kunich" <cyclintom@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    >>>
    >>> I gotta tell you Erin that there were guys out there that worked a lot
    >>> harder than you did and just didn't have the genetic tools to begin
    >>> with.

    >>
    >> Tom,
    >>
    >> I know this specific statement was not the overall point you were trying
    >> to make, but there were probably few, very very few people who have
    >> worked harder in cycling than Erin did in the peak 5 or 6 years of his
    >> career.

    >
    > Well, maybe that didn't come out right. But there WERE a lot of people
    > that worked hard, no doubt much harder than Erin, but just didn't have the
    > tools to come anywhere near Erin or Marty and their like. You just never
    > see them because like Fast Freddy, they never go anywhere.


    Bollocks.

    Someone who never gets anywhere will not be a full-time kilo rider. They do
    not have enough time to work 'much harder than Erin'.

    Peter
     
  3. DESAY

    DESAY Guest

    >Well, maybe that didn't come out right. But there WERE a lot of people that
    >worked hard, no doubt much harder than Erin, but just didn't have the tools
    >to come anywhere near Erin or Marty and their like. You just never see them
    >because like Fast Freddy, they never go anywhere.


    I don't think that anyone can quantify objectively how hard a cyclist (or any
    athlete) puts into their training. I did have a couple of experiences watching
    Mr. Hartwell in his kilo preparation.

    Once at the Ft. Lauderdale velodrome Hartwell was training for the Pan Am Games
    in Argentina. I was there with two other officials to time his track record
    attempt. It was sometime in March and on this particular day the wind was
    gusting extraordinarly hard. Whether he was going to even attempt to ride was
    questionable as he was suffering from the flu and had an abscess tooth which
    necessitated antibiotics. Personally, I thought there was no way he could get
    off a decent effort as he was coughing incessantly while on the start line.

    Incredibly, Hartwell opted for some heavy duty spoked training wheels to make
    his effort that much harder. Into, the brutal headwind on the homestretch
    Hartwell crunched off the line and recorded a 14.2 half lap split and rode just
    under 1.08.

    The other time I watched Erin was in Colorado Springs. After doing an interval
    workout he passed out.

    I've been around the sport for quite a few years. Whenever I hear somebody
    bring up the topic about hard training cyclists he is one of the first that
    comes to mind.

    Larry D
     
  4. Howard Kveck

    Howard Kveck Guest

    In article <sFDBd.12648$c%.2957@okepread05>,
    "Carl Sundquist" <carlsun@cox.net> wrote:

    > "B. Lafferty" <Magni@Italia.com> wrote in message
    > >
    > > Very interesting article. Thanks for the link. I especially liked two of
    > > his quotes .
    > >
    > > People do not lack strength, they lack will.character is will in action.
    > >

    >
    > Bobby Knight said something similar:
    >
    > "Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win."


    And then he threw a chair at the listener.

    --
    tanx,
    Howard

    Butter is love.

    remove YOUR SHOES to reply, ok?
     
  5. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "Carl Sundquist" <carlsun@cox.net> wrote in message
    news:yAHBd.12664$c%.3532@okepread05...
    >
    > "Tom Kunich" <cyclintom@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    >>>>
    >>>> I gotta tell you Erin that there were guys out there that worked a lot
    >>>> harder than you did and just didn't have the genetic tools to begin
    >>>> with.
    >>>
    >>> Tom,
    >>>
    >>> I know this specific statement was not the overall point you were trying
    >>> to make, but there were probably few, very very few people who have
    >>> worked harder in cycling than Erin did in the peak 5 or 6 years of his
    >>> career.

    >>
    >> Well, maybe that didn't come out right. But there WERE a lot of people
    >> that worked hard, no doubt much harder than Erin, but just didn't have
    >> the tools to come anywhere near Erin or Marty and their like. You just
    >> never see them because like Fast Freddy, they never go anywhere.
    >>

    >
    > Trying to claim a title of the Hardest Working Cyclist is about like
    > trying to prove a negative.


    I agree. But it seems pretty egotistical of Erin who performed spectacularly
    over many years to snivel about not doing better.

    > I saw Erin rise from a raw talent as a junior and as an ignorant,
    > undisciplined first year senior. He had the good fortune of being guided
    > (sometimes roughly, but guided nonetheless) by people like Roger Young,
    > Roger's father Clair, Dan Vogt, and Curt Harnett. They helped Erin develop
    > as a person and an adult as much as a cyclist. Erin became the Fed's kilo
    > rider, but there wasn't a kilo coach to help Erin specialize. Not only did
    > Erin put in more physical work than anyone else, he had to become self
    > coached.


    Well, maybe Erin is on of those people I was thinking about whose work ethic
    alone gives them more success than their physical abilities would suggest.

    In any case, Erin had a career that 99.99% of track riders would have
    considered historic. It seems a shame that he would think less of his
    accomplishments than the rest of us.
     
  6. Erin

    Erin Guest

    Tom Kunich wrote:
    > "Carl Sundquist" <carlsun@cox.net> wrote in message
    > news:yAHBd.12664$c%.3532@okepread05...
    > >
    > > "Tom Kunich" <cyclintom@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    > >>>>
    > >>>> I gotta tell you Erin that there were guys out there that worked

    a lot
    > >>>> harder than you did and just didn't have the genetic tools to

    begin
    > >>>> with.
    > >>>
    > >>> Tom,
    > >>>
    > >>> I know this specific statement was not the overall point you were

    trying
    > >>> to make, but there were probably few, very very few people who

    have
    > >>> worked harder in cycling than Erin did in the peak 5 or 6 years

    of his
    > >>> career.
    > >>
    > >> Well, maybe that didn't come out right. But there WERE a lot of

    people
    > >> that worked hard, no doubt much harder than Erin, but just didn't

    have
    > >> the tools to come anywhere near Erin or Marty and their like. You

    just
    > >> never see them because like Fast Freddy, they never go anywhere.
    > >>

    > >
    > > Trying to claim a title of the Hardest Working Cyclist is about

    like
    > > trying to prove a negative.

    >
    > I agree. But it seems pretty egotistical of Erin who performed

    spectacularly
    > over many years to snivel about not doing better.
    >
    > > I saw Erin rise from a raw talent as a junior and as an ignorant,
    > > undisciplined first year senior. He had the good fortune of being

    guided
    > > (sometimes roughly, but guided nonetheless) by people like Roger

    Young,
    > > Roger's father Clair, Dan Vogt, and Curt Harnett. They helped Erin

    develop
    > > as a person and an adult as much as a cyclist. Erin became the

    Fed's kilo
    > > rider, but there wasn't a kilo coach to help Erin specialize. Not

    only did
    > > Erin put in more physical work than anyone else, he had to become

    self
    > > coached.

    >
    > Well, maybe Erin is on of those people I was thinking about whose

    work ethic
    > alone gives them more success than their physical abilities would

    suggest.
    >
    > In any case, Erin had a career that 99.99% of track riders would have


    > considered historic. It seems a shame that he would think less of his


    > accomplishments than the rest of us.



    Damn, I go away for a day and all hell breaks loose! Let me first state
    that after re-reading my original post, I believe I came across the
    wrong way regarding my perception of my results throughout the years.

    A little history. At seven years old, I watched Bruce Jenner win the
    1976 Olympic Decathlon. It was at this exact point I decided I wanted
    to be Olympic Champion and I turned around to my Mom and told her I was
    going to win Gold someday. From that day on, I was single-mindedly
    dedicated to meeting that objective.

    So, to come up two-tenths short in Atlanta after 20 years of workin
    towards that goal, I was a little disappointed, but more than aware of
    the magnitude of that result in the scope of international sport.

    Nevertheless, I am a different person because of my results and the
    work it required to attain them. I do not take my accomplishments
    lightly and in no way feel that I was a failure for not having "won it
    all."

    Throughout my career, I've been humbled by this pursuit of excellence
    and will continue to strive in helping others understand what's
    required to take that next step in the hierarchy of world sport. It's a
    tough road and one really only understandable by those whom walk it.

    My original point was this: At the end of the day, the result is the
    result. There are no "excuse asterisks" next to one's placing in
    competition. You get what you put in. If an athlete wants to be a
    champion, he or she must do whatever is possible (and I don't mean
    drugs...) to meet that objective.

    Again, invest in yourself, make the connections, push the limits of
    training, maximize recovery, and buckle down for the ride of your life.
    If you don't aim for the top rung, what's the point?

    Last point: Marty Nothstein and I have been friends, team mates, and
    room mates since 1990. Harking back to 1996, I vividly remember Marty's
    declaration after his defeat in the match sprint final, that there was
    no way he was going to not win in Sydney.

    He was a changed man from that point on and I saw a determination that
    I had never seen in any athlete up to that point. After that "loss" to
    Feidler in 1996, he was intensely dedicated to the cause and got up
    each day for four years with the intent to make sure he was the best
    when it counted.

    I was almost envious of his determination. I had had knee surgery in
    1999 and was basically taken out of my game in the 1000m. I was still
    enjoying the sport, particularly the road racing, but the goal of champ
    in the "k" was looking unrealistic. Motivation, the real kind, was
    fading.

    I wondered if I had done enough over the years? Could I have done more?
    Wasmy focus as tight as I thought it had been? Two-tenths back in '96
    to Rousseau...

    Well, back to Marty and Sydney. We all know what happened in 2000 and
    I've never forgotten... Point is, don't ever put yourself in a position
    to have to look back and wonder "what could have been." Just do it.
     
  7. "Tom Kunich" <cyclintom@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    >
    > I agree. But it seems pretty egotistical of Erin who performed
    > spectacularly over many years to snivel about not doing better.
    >
    > Well, maybe Erin is on of those people I was thinking about whose work
    > ethic alone gives them more success than their physical abilities would
    > suggest.
    >
    > In any case, Erin had a career that 99.99% of track riders would have
    > considered historic. It seems a shame that he would think less of his
    > accomplishments than the rest of us.
    >


    I don't think that is the case. I think he is simply disappointed that he
    did not quite achieve a goal he had set for himself.
     
  8. Mark Fennell

    Mark Fennell Guest

    "Carl Sundquist" wrote:
    <interesting story snipped>

    Was Rory O'Reilly's reign before your time, or did you overlap? I'd be
    interested to hear your impression of his training/work ethic/etc. He has
    always impressed me as a pretty intense and focused guy (with racing and
    training) but I didn't know him when he was at his peak as a kilo guy. He
    also fits the mold you described of Erin about being self-taught and
    self-coached, e.g., he even built a home-made ergometer to do power testing
    on himself (long before power-based training was popular).

    Mark
     
  9. "Mark Fennell" <marco_fennelli@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    >
    > Was Rory O'Reilly's reign before your time, or did you overlap? I'd be
    > interested to hear your impression of his training/work ethic/etc. He has
    > always impressed me as a pretty intense and focused guy (with racing and
    > training) but I didn't know him when he was at his peak as a kilo guy. He
    > also fits the mold you described of Erin about being self-taught and
    > self-coached, e.g., he even built a home-made ergometer to do power
    > testing
    > on himself (long before power-based training was popular).
    >


    Rory's career and my career only overlapped by a couple of years and where
    they did, we seldom overlapped on training.

    I first knew of Rory when I heard that he might lose his 1983 PanAm spot
    because Whitehead won the natz that year, even though Rory had won PanAm
    trials. Rory ended up riding the kilo in the end. Yes, he struck me as an
    intense and focused guy, but his style was quiet confidence. As I'm sure you
    know, Rory experimented with a lot of different bike equipment (I think Mike
    Celmins worked with him on most of his bike ideas) and like Erin, he did
    develop his own training programs. I'm not knocking his methods or logic,
    but I do remember him saying that in 1984 he did most of his work in the gym
    and only about 50 miles/week on the bike. He also didn't have a lot of the
    financial backing and IIRC, had to subsidize his cycling by working as a
    carpenter.

    One thing many people aren't aware of is that Rory started out as a road
    racer and won Somerville when it was still The Race to win.
     
  10. On Sat, 01 Jan 2005 01:16:00 GMT, "B. Lafferty" <Magni@Italia.com>
    wrote:

    >It takes a strong person to get things done by themselves. Some can do
    >it---Mike Neel, George Mount, Jock Boyer, Sean Kelly come to mind. But not
    >every raw talent has the strength that calls for. That's where good,
    >realistic development programs come in. That's where the focus should be
    >and hasn't been for too long. Can the culture at USAC change? Don't hold
    >your breath. FWIW, thanks for giving it your best.


    Sean Kelly in a list of U.S. riders and a wrap-up comment about the
    USAC? Just wondering if that's a comfortable fit...

    Curtis L. Russell
    Odenton, MD (USA)
    Just someone on two wheels...
     
  11. B. Lafferty

    B. Lafferty Guest

    "Curtis L. Russell" <curtis@the-md-russells.org> wrote in message
    news:molit09vuuho1p3e7ir4231ckdvq0hsuv0@4ax.com...
    > On Sat, 01 Jan 2005 01:16:00 GMT, "B. Lafferty" <Magni@Italia.com>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>It takes a strong person to get things done by themselves. Some can do
    >>it---Mike Neel, George Mount, Jock Boyer, Sean Kelly come to mind. But
    >>not
    >>every raw talent has the strength that calls for. That's where good,
    >>realistic development programs come in. That's where the focus should be
    >>and hasn't been for too long. Can the culture at USAC change? Don't hold
    >>your breath. FWIW, thanks for giving it your best.

    >
    > Sean Kelly in a list of U.S. riders and a wrap-up comment about the
    > USAC? Just wondering if that's a comfortable fit...


    Two points:
    1. It doesn't matter where you are. All of those riders had to have the
    strength of character to go over to another culture, live and race with
    little, if any, formal home country support.
    2. I doubt if the Irish Cycling federation was of much help to Kelly when
    breaking into Europe. IIRC, he was effectively amateur persona non grata
    after the South African mis-adventure and Olympic banishment.
     
  12. DESAY

    DESAY Guest

    >Let me tell ya, I got second at the stinkin' Olympics in '96, third in
    >'92, and continue to pay to this day for that "first loser's award."
    >Whether American or European, it is about winning and unfortunately I
    >will forever be disappointed that I was unable to climb that final step!>


    Unfortunately, one of my earlier posts pertaining to hardworking cyclists
    somehow didn't get posted. However, IMO there is absolutely no way that one
    could think anything less of you being a champion irregardless of you not
    pulling on a rainbow jersey or standing on the top podium at the Olympics.

    Considering the elite company that you competed with (and nearly beat) makes
    you amongst the worlds elite. A performance should stand on it's own accord,
    not necessarily the results it garners.

    Larry D
     
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