Dear Andy: An Open Letter to Andy Schelck
I hope you enjoyed the California sunshine. I know that we aren’t friendly, that you have no idea I exist, though I do follow you on twitter so you could easily figure it out. Luckily for us the modern world allows me to reach out to you with an important message. I promise this will only take a moment of your time.
Yesterday I listened to some Italians rant and rave about a race that seems to already be won. You know who that person is and we need not mention his name. But in case you have forgotten, he is the guy who attacked when you when you dropped your chain. He is the guy who CHEATED you out of what was yours. To paraphrase Cipollini, he stole food from your mouth. I know that he didn’t do that literally, as I am sure that you are compensated well for your work. That being said, history doesn’t care how much money you make, it only cares if you stand on that top step.
Now that we’ve covered the past let’s tackle the future. I’m not here to give you a hard time about your hand holding. I’m writing this to get you psyched to CRUSH in July. You have the ability and the team to do this. That I believe. However, in order to do this you have to tap into something that you might possibly be afraid of. Like I said earlier, I don’t know you personally, but you need to get pissed. You then have to channel that anger and show that cheating Spaniard what’s what. Every time you look at him you need to think “I will destroy you”. This is the way. You can already ride, that much is known. Now you have to tap into whatever pain you’ve felt in your life and pour all of that into your pedals.
Now a shrink may tell you that this is not a good way to go through life. Hell I’m not a shrink and I can tell you that much, but it can be used to great effect. This is what I humbly suggest. Whilst in France smile, laugh, and be out going to both fans and journalist, you’re already good at this. A fine ambassador for the sport. When it comes to Contador I suggest you talk about how great your legs are feeling and how you aren’t afraid of your rival. I suggest you use a line like this “I’ve trained hard, I’ve got the legs, and we’ll just have to see what happens.” If and when El Pistolero talks to you I suggest you be icy and distant. The best way to deal with his antics is to act like you don’t need them. Don’t let him see any doubts you may have.
Lastly, attack him every chance you have. If he attacks go with him. Don’t show weakness the way his fellow Giro “favorites” have (though I have to say Nibali grabbed the bull by the horns yesterday) you’re a different rider and I believe you can hold that wheel when he rises up from that saddle. Really, I just ask that you race like your life depends on it. To paraphrase (yet again) Yukio Mishima, “define your consciousness” by embracing the pain that will surely result from trying to follow that wheel.
I’m not sure what kind of music you listen to, but might I suggest somethings that have helped me in the past. Don’t worry, I’m not signaling you out. I’ll reach out to some of the other Tour favorites later. Till then rest up and train hard.