"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer



I drank from the cup
And passed it around
Full to the top
Of a taste more profound
Than anything sweet,
Than a stomach that's full
Of their pain n' defeat
From the charge of the bull.
A more lasting nurishement
Of beautiful contentment.

I was named XXX Racing's 2008 "Super-Domestique" on Sunday night. To my non-cycling audience, domestique is a French term that literally translates as "servant." In cycling it is a rider who works for the benefit of his team and the glory of his leader.

To me, this is the highest honor I could ever receive from my peers, bigger than upgrading, bigger than winning a race. Hearing Brian Boyle (the Good) introduce the as-yet unnamed winner, I could only imagine it was someone in the 3s, who'd spent the summer leading out Ed, Randy, JT, Luke, Peter, or Shane. Someone visible on the road, in Northbrook, and in the mud. Someone without a lick of self-doubt, possessing razor-sharp decision making and a threshold of a masochist. Several names entered my mind and they stayed there right up through "I'm proud to give this award to a fellow Irishman, Brian..."

And still, I feel like I don't deserve it. My three podiums and medals this year happened by the grace of several very selfless teammates working hard for nothing more than appreciation, plus the bonus of a Butterburger on the way home, and a few beers back in town. Maybe some cash if the check was even worth it.

I too, had my share of leadouts and bridges, blocks and sacrifices this season...of course I always put Team first. But who didn't?

I felt extremely humbled to have received the popular vote for this award, given the character and caliber of those who've received it in the past.


Tamara Fraser said...

Wordy McWord, Brian -- being recognized by my peers is the highest honor I can imagine. And I still feel like I've pulled a fast one, somehow.

allenpg said...

Brian, a well deserved award! There are guys who make their entire career by being domestiques. Of course, we're not paid in $$$ as amateurs, but we get something worth much more--respect. Your efforts have hardly gone unnoticed, either by us on XXX, or those on other teams. Nice job and good luck in 2009!