Belated congratulations to Tao GH for his billiant victory.
But my reason for posting here is
I want to congratulate Oliver for being shrewd enough to start this thread so long ago, and to have kept it up to date over the years.
You read it here first......! Oliver has moved the lfgss forum a significant step towards the centre of the cycling world.
Ha, cheers, Chris, but I obviously can't claim any credit. I've just been sitting here getting fat while Tao did all the work. :)
I was certainly not alone in seeing that Tao would go places. He'd found what he wanted to do, was mature beyond his years (as Keir Apperley, his first cycling coach, often says (and was quoted saying again in recent articles: 'He was telling me how it is and I said: "I'm three times your age."'), and very good at what he wanted to do. I think pretty much everyone who met him when he was 14 could see that. Then he only goes and wins the bloody Giro. I still can't quite believe it. (Although I had high hopes last year when he was the leader from the start, but then he sadly crashed out.)
I do think that it's very important for the promotion of cycling that cycle sport, with all its armadas of cars, elite sporting ethos, regrettable doping scandals (over-emphasised in comparison to other sports where they're swept under the carpet, except for The Greatest Doper There Ever Was and There Ever Will Be), etc., becomes more prominent in society. I see the popularity of motor racing influencing the popularity of everyday driving, and I think there can be a similar influence by sport--if we overcome the traditionally-felt opposition between 'utility cycling' and sport. Cycle campaigners have traditionally been largely unconcerned with sport, or even hostile to it, and vice versa. The fact is that cycling is an athletic activity and that the connection to sport is therefore never going to go away, so we might as well do our best to reduce the division within cycling and make it become more united as a concerted cultural force.
This was very much the ethos of the forum when it started, where all sorts of people from all sorts of cycling backgrounds came together, which was one of the things I liked about it the most, who would just never have got to know each other before the forum started. Needless to say, I can claim precisely no credit for that at all. The credit instead goes to @Velocio and to the 'old guard', by which I understand people who were here before me and who firmly established the sort of climate that made Tao join the forum and briefly contribute.
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