That Magical Day

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There is an interview at with Jonathan Page. He’s training in New Hampshire, which I’ll never understand. I sort of understand it if he’s just resting, which is most likely the case.

Anyway, the article wraps up with this-

VN: What are your expectations for Louisville?
I don’t really want to say. Talk’s cheap. I don’t want to say, “I’m going to get this place.” That’s bullshit. I’m just going to go ahead and look for a magical day and that’s it.

That is one of the big reasons that many of us race bikes. That elusive, magical day. I nearly had one a couple weeks ago in the Chicago UCI race. I had 1/4 a day, which was great.

The weird thing about these days, is they rarely occur when we would like them to. Being elusive, they tend to stay just below the surface, popping up their heads for a few moments, every once in a while, then resurfacing, sometimes for months.

That is one thing I don’t understand at all about the usage of drugs in sport. I don’t know how these guys can trade something as trivial as money for the experience of attaining that magical moment. They never know whether the moment is theirs, or the moment is chemically induced. I couldn’t image spending my whole life training for the magical moments, knowing that I’d never experience one from my own doing. It’s so sad.

Anyway, when these magical days do fully expose themselves, on the biggest stages, such as Louisville will be for Jonathan, that is a very special event. I’m wishing him the best of luck, because that is much of what it takes, for the stars to align themselves in such a manner to allow his special, magical day to surface.


11 thoughts on “That Magical Day

  1. El Tejan

    “They never know whether the moment is theirs, or the moment is chemically induced. ” – What a great comment. Thanks.

  2. Sean YD

    What is with cycling publications that feel they need to include expletives? Even if the rider says something doesn’t mean it needs to be printed. It could have easily been published like this:

    “I don’t really want to say. Talk’s cheap. I don’t want to say, “I’m going to get this place.” That’s (expletive). I’m just going to go ahead and look for a magical day and that’s it.”

    And really, what sponsor likes to hear its rider swearing anyway?

  3. wojtek

    Being a former pro I know EXACTLY what type of moment you are talking about. Odds are these moments will happen during some workouts, and yes, I do remember very specific workouts some 30 years ago.

  4. Bill Laudien

    Bob Roll and Keifel did a great interview years ago with either VeloNews or Winning, in which they talked about the 2% days. Where you suffer 98% of the time you’re on your bike for that 2% when you can’t feel the pedals.

    If anyone can find and post that, it was fantastic.

  5. Bill E

    Bill L, it was in Winning, and was Bob and Alex Steida actually. One of only a few issues I saved (think it may be the one with Mike McCarthy on cover from his world pursuit win). Saved because that is such a good article, and really exemplifies why we race. I’ve let multiple clients read it to share some insight into what it’s really all about. Good stuff.

  6. Mike Rodose

    You’re right about sponsors and swearing, generally speaking.

    Mark and Frank McCormack are examples of PRO racers and interviewees. A sponsor’s dream. Clean in racing and clean in interviews and as people. JP is a protege of them and other role models.

    Page is not a vulgar or profane guy. We’ve seen plenty, but JP is not that guy. He had a magical day at Worlds previously. That Silver medal is huge. JP is intense and has less sponsorship than in past years…he has no time for bullshit. Time for another magical day.

    Go JP!

  7. Jerry

    He is training in nh, pretty hard actually. He is there for many reasons, all of which are what makes him who he is. his mom is there, so it’s free. Cori and the kids flew over to be with him. his people are there. his emotional core is there.

    He is never going to spend money to put himself somewhere where it’s nice for him, he is going to spend that money to keep his family unit together.

    He gets his strength not just from his legs but also his heart, much more than any athlete i know. if he is happy and around his family he is strong. So he is there training both his legs and his heart, the temperature is irrelevant. if you know Jonathan its easy to understand.


  8. Charles Dostale

    Starting racing during the mid-70s – high school in Des Moines – we called them ” Eddy Merckx Days ” and they would typically happen on a training ride in the middle of the week. You’d take a pull, move over and the next guy in line would look at you with eyes that said ” You’re killin’ me. ” Take every “stop ahead ” sign sprint.

    I think I had one during a Wisconsin Milk Race in Green Lake. Every hill seemed flat. I took a flyer with about 2k to go, but it must have not been that magical cuz I got caught right before the line. Otherwise you know I’m a 3rd thru 10th guy.

    Best of luck to you in Louisville. You’ve replaced Tyger Johnson as my cyclo-cross hero.

    Say hi to Trudi.

  9. Steve Mathews

    Those days were fleeting, too few and far between. I remember always thinking of those winning or good placing days as flying. It was always less painful on those days. I can remember looking around at other riders, and they would seem to be struggling or suffering, and it just seemed pretty easy on those days. It typically happened after a period of really good training, good quality rest, low stress, good diet, etc., and everything just all came together at the same time. I usually couldn’t predict it, some days would even start out not so good, but then everything would just click. The hard part was getting it all to happen at the same time, and it definitely was not easy to replicate. A magical day, a 2% day or whatever you want to call it, that’s what made all the suffering and sacrifice worthwhile.


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