“I think the reason Cavendish wasn’t good is the way that he finished Tirreno-Adriatico. He finished the stage on the Monday and didn’t ride the final time trial. He had four days waiting for Milan-San Remo and that’s a recipe for disaster. I know myself… you’re staying in a hotel, the pasta is really good and you can eat too much of it. You’re doing very little training because you’re just ticking over, but the food intake, that’s where you can slip up and I think that’s where Cavendish slipped up. He didn’t get it out of his system. It wasn’t because the hill was too steep. It wasn’t because it was too fast. It was just that his legs were blocked.” Sean Kelly on why Mark Cavendish misfired at Milan-San Remo
It’s what any cyclist fears; the morning of every race, getting out of bed. How do the legs feel? Dangling over the side before planting feet on the cold floor. Are they stiff? Sore? Straightening up. The first few steps. Are they tight?
But the answers don’t mean anything. Aching legs that can barely walk sometimes feel like oiled pistons the moment their feet clip into the pedals. Sometimes fresh supple legs transpire to be dull and useless. The only true answer will come during the race itself, the decisive moment – will they respond when you put the foot on the accelerator, or will everything stutter to a halt? Blocked Legs.