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The Difference is RESULTS

Inside A Champion’s Mind

Michele Moulton PT Gym

Throughout the Tour de France, a Columbian rider on the Kelme - Costa Blanca Team, Santiago Botero, had been keeping a diary for his local newspaper. This submission offers a different perspective and is well worth the read…

“There I am alone with my bike. I know of only two riders ahead of me as I near the end of the second climb on what most riders consider the third worst mountain stage in the Tour. I say ‘most riders’ because I do not fear mountains. After all, our country is nothing but mountains. I train year-round in the mountains. I am the national champion from a country that is nothing but mountains. I trail only my teammate, Fernando Escartin, and a Swiss rider. Pantani, one of my rival climbers, and the Gringo Armstrong are in the Peleton about five minutes behind me. I am climbing on such a steep portion of the mountain that if I were to stop pedaling, I will fall backward. Even for a world-class climber, this is a painful and slow process. I am in my upright position pedaling at a steady pace willing myself to finish this climb so I can conserve my energy for the final climb of the day. The Kelme team leader radios to me that the Gringo has left the Peleton by himself and that they can no longer see him. I recall thinking ‘the Gringo cannot catch me by himself’.

A short while later, I hear the gears of another bicycle. Within seconds, the Gringo is next to me – riding in the seated position, smiling at me. He was only next to me for a few seconds and he said nothing – he only smiled and then proceeded up the mountain as if he were pedaling downhill. For the next several minutes, I could only think of one thing – his smile. His smile told me everything. I kept thinking that surely he is in as much agony as me, perhaps he was standing and struggling up the mountain as I was and he only sat down to pass me and discourage me. Not possible. The truth is that his smile said everything that his lips did not. His smile said to me, ‘I was training while you were sleeping Santiago’. It also said, ‘I won this tour four months ago, while you were deciding what bike frame to use in the Tour. I trained harder than you did, Santiago. I don’t know if I’m better than you, but I have outworked you, and right now you cannot do anything about it. Enjoy your ride, Santiago. See you in Paris’.”

It’s not about the bike by Lance Armstrong – 1 May 2000