Friday, August 20, 2010

Utah has cycling History! Tour of Utah. One is Bill Harris and he worked with many of the top racers today!

MARCH 2004


Continued on page 7


Passion: The Fruit of Champions

By Bill Harris

"Develop and grow your love and passion for cycling and you too can stand on the podium."


As Bill will point out, IT’S GOOD TO KNOW YOUR HISTORY.

“I don’t need the money…I race because I love bike racing”

-Lance Armstrong

To be really good in this sport you have to eat and breathe cycling. You have to live the life. If you want to stand on the podium you must have PASSION. If you’re into racing for the money, the glitz, or the glamour, you better look elsewhere because there is very little money to be made, we look silly in those bike shorts and most girls/guys think bike racers are self centered weirdo’s that ride in circles.

Fortunately, like fitness, passion is something that can be and should be, trained. Fitness will only take you so far. Passion will take you the rest of the way.

One of the best ways to develop your passion is to learn about the history of the sport. When Lance Armstrong first went to Europe to race he was often criticized for being a brash Texan who didn’t know and respect the history of cycling. It’s ironic how today Lance hob knob’s with Eddy Merckx, the greatest cyclist of all time and he talks about how he wants to win a stage on Mount Ventoux so his name will be up there with the giants of the sport. This story of Lance reminds me a lot of our hometown boy Dave Zabriske. When I coached Dave as a junior it was quickly apparent that he had plenty of talentand that he could go somewhere in this sport, if only he knew where somewhere was. At the time hehad no clue about the history or traditions of cycling. So one of the first things I did with him was totalk with him about the different Grand Tours and how the World Cup of cycling works. I told him that if he learned about the history of these races and the great racers of the past that he would someday be a part of that history. Dave did his homework, he now rides on the same team as Lance Armstrong and in 2002 Dave completed the Tour of Spain, it won’t be long before we see him in the Tour de France.

If you don’t know in which months they race the Tour of Italy, Tour de France and Tour of Spain you’re in big trouble. If the names Merckx, Ja Ja, Lemond, Hinault, Tomac, Fignon and Coppi don’t ring a bell, you better get it together. If you don’t know the difference between the cobblestone and the tarmac you're in for a rough ride. Finally, if you don’t know the voices of Phil and Paul you might as well pack it in. If you had trouble with any of this I suggest the following immediate action be taken.

•Extensive daily readings of Cycle Sport, Velonews and Pro Cycling. These magazines are available from a good bike shop, Barnes and Noble, or

•Daily surfing of,,, and

•Weekly viewings of videos purchased from

•OLN channel subscription.

With daily readings of these magazines and websites you will start to understand the sport better. You will learn the names of the big races and the names of the best racers. From the pictures you will see the suffering it takes to win and the pleasures of winning. You’ll find hero’s in the sport and racers to admire for their courage and skill. From weekly watching of the videos and OLN you will learn the skills and tactics needed to win.

The point is. Get reading and get watching. Develop and grow your love and passion for cycling and you too can stand on the podium. I don’t ever let a cold, rainy or snowy day stop me from training, because from what I have read, it

never stopped Eddy Merckx.

Bill Harris has coached regional, national, Olympic and World Champions in three different sports.

To contact Bill about his cycling coaching services send e-mail to

Wobble-naught (WN) has that passion!

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