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Juan Antonio Flecha announces his retirement

Bo DukeBo Duke Posts: 1,058
edited May 2014 in Pro race
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/juan-an ... retirement

I shall misses his attacks. And attacks and more attacks. Still, I like his retirement plan.
'Performance analysis and Froome not being clean was a media driven story. I haven’t heard one guy in the peloton say a negative thing about Froome, and I haven’t heard a single person in the peloton suggest Froome isn’t clean.' TSP

Posts

  • ad_snowad_snow Posts: 469
    Bo Duke wrote:
    Still, I like his retirement plan.

    That is how you leave cycling behind... sounds like bliss!
  • Got a lot of time for Flecha. On the road, heart of a racer. Off the road, always smiling and absolutely fantastic with fans before and after races.
  • salsiccia1salsiccia1 Posts: 3,289
    Got a lot of time for Flecha. On the road, heart of a racer. Off the road, always smiling and absolutely fantastic with fans before and after races.

    +1
    It's only a bit of sport, Mun. Relax and enjoy the racing.
  • Yellow PerilYellow Peril Posts: 4,466
    superb rider. Always there or there abouts in the one dayers.
    @JaunePeril

    Winner of the Bike Radar Pro Race Wiggins Hour Prediction Competition
  • ocdupalaisocdupalais Posts: 3,650
    A shame for him that in the races he liked best his good days always seemed to coincide with Cancellara or Boonen's good days...

    I suppose there will be a lot of old pros saying that...
  • Vacansoleil ending is causing carnage isn't it !?
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 48,073 Lives Here
    Meh.

    Never liked flecha as much as most people.

    Terrible tactician half the time. Never super strong.

    Very likeable in interviews.
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,146
    I agree on his tactical nous, Rich. His only chance of winning Roubaix was to take the initiative and get away early either in a break without the likes of Boonen and Cancellara, or on his own. He never seemed to work that out and always followed, rather than taking the risk.
  • moray_gubmoray_gub Posts: 3,328
    andyp wrote:
    I agree on his tactical nous, Rich. His only chance of winning Roubaix was to take the initiative and get away early either in a break without the likes of Boonen and Cancellara, or on his own. He never seemed to work that out and always followed, rather than taking the risk.


    i think he probably knew that perfectly well......being able to do it well that is something different altogether.
    Gasping - but somehow still alive !
  • FocusZingFocusZing Posts: 4,416
    GAL01_ET7_004.jpg
  • Wasnt one of my favourite riders but put it this way, i didnt dislike him either, so good luck to the guy.
  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    We spent more than six hours on our bikes and ascended two long climbs. Climbing for over half an hour, the tempo gradually reached the point of discomfort.

    Few words were spoken. We both gazed at the road ahead, the peak in the distance, and focussed on the effort. It was December – we knew we should be reining in our effort.

    But for Flecha, like me, that is something we find difficult. As in our childhood, we still both want to be on our bikes pushing our limits, which is not always the best for conditioning.

    As we reached the summit of the first climb, I asked him if he wanted to ride to the next peak that we could see in the distance. The answer was a simple “yes”.

    Rod Ellingworth, our team coach, once summarised Flecha’s training method. “He’s not a rider who lacks the motivation to train hard. He knows what he needs to do to be fit.

    “But he just needs guidance as to when he should back off his workload so that he doesn’t arrive at the key races tired.” Racing his bike is a job; riding it is a passion.

    During the ride, we chatted incessantly about writing, races, bikes, cycling history, cars, our families, Catalonia and dozens of other things which I can’t recall.

    He writes well and has often contributed stories from races to Spanish newspapers. He has a profound interest in life beyond the bike. A mountain of novels always accompanies Flecha to a Grand Tour.

    In the team bus or hotel, he leafs through books while his teammates tap away on their keyboards as they check results and chat with friends.

    To him, the technology which seems to command many of our lives is simply a distraction from the essence. He is seeking simplicity and nature. But he can also be ferociously competitive when he has to be.

    Three months before the Classics, he was already focused on the upcoming month of intense racing in the spring. He knew, based on experience, what he needed to do to be in good shape for the races.

    With the guidance of the team’s coaches and sports scientists, Flecha sought out what he thought would separate him from the rest.

    Yet, like most top professional cyclists, he will resist new ideas until they are proven and effective. That caution is in part based on superstition and partly on common sense. There is data and then there is hope.

    While most cyclists search for warmer climates to escape winter, Flecha spends weekends at his second home in Puigcerdà in the Pyrenees to sustain and improve his climbing.

    Unafraid of the cold and wet, he rides while his girlfriend skis, his tyres making tracks in the snow. Cars loaded with skiers pass cautiously.

    Despite the discomfort of frozen extremities and the risk of crashing, he finds peace and reason riding alone in the frozen environment.

    Like his Flemish rivals, Flecha has learned to persist through inclement weather. He has conditioned his body to become accustomed to the cold and his mind to accept and even embrace it.

    A true Classics rider will thrive in adversity. When asked if he prefers a wet or dry Classic, Flecha doesn’t hesitate before answering: “Wet and muddy.”

    Wet roads separate the skilled riders from the hopeful. Flecha seems to have battled adversity since he was a boy, following his dreams despite the hurdles of life.

    Prior to the Ronde, Flecha was the focal point of our team press conference. The media fired questions at him. They asked about his past, crashes he had been involved in, his rivals, his tactics and his potential.

    He deflected criticisms by asking the journalists rhetorical questions. It was apparent in his answers that he felt his nationality hindered him in a xenophobic peloton.

    He is burdened with the generalisation that Spaniards can’t handle their bikes on the cobbles and, as a result, don’t belong on the front when there are cobbles. Often blamed for causing crashes, Flecha feels he is scapegoated because of his nationality.

    There is truth to this. But like any minority working to fit into a class system based on nationality and performance, he has never felt as accepted or respected by his peers when racing in northern Europe.

    It is his tenacity that makes him thrilling to watch on a bike. He will resist and persist, only backing down when it is on his terms.

    Extract from Rouleur issue 21.
    Contador is the Greatest
  • Yellow PerilYellow Peril Posts: 4,466
    Brings a bit of a tear to your eye that. Nice piece.
    @JaunePeril

    Winner of the Bike Radar Pro Race Wiggins Hour Prediction Competition
  • MacaloonMacaloon Posts: 5,545
    Refreshing to read about a human being, after the recent reductive caricatures of riders round these parts.
    ...a rare 100% loyal Pro Race poster. A poster boy for the community.
  • MartinGTMartinGT Posts: 475
    Sad news, he should have recommened Leinders for Vacansoleil, they may have lasted a little longer :P

    Joking aside, sad news whats happened with the fall out from Vacansoleil. Poor tactician really, but always enjoyed him having a go though, cannot knock that.
  • Macaloon wrote:
    Refreshing to read about a human being, after the recent reductive caricatures of riders round these parts.


    Quite, Maca. As you say...
  • *sniff*
    Correlation is not causation.
  • Say what you like about Michael Barry, but the man can write
  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    Bi5qSDdCAAAtIMt.jpg:large
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    Bi5n5SaCUAEg4Re.jpg:large
    Contador is the Greatest
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 9,521
    Nice, getting barreled! Didn't know he surfed. That's how I'd like to spend my retirement.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
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