Focusing on trying to beat other people will stop you short from becoming your best.
It’s hard to look away as the high ability and success of others is constantly paraded in front of us.
Just take this day in the photo as an example. Floyd had only beaten me in the previous stages time trial by 4 seconds. All I had to do was beat him by this narrow margin to win the overall.
The year before I put over 1 minute on him on this very climb, so I assumed 4 seconds would be very possible.
So I changed my strategy from the year before (that suited my ability best) from attacking at the bottom. I decided to be more conservative and play off of Floyd’s efforts instead. I needed only 4 seconds and this sounded like the safer route.
My “strategy” backfired to say the least!
I was so focused on him that I ended up riding the climb to his strengths, not mine.
In the end I tried an attack in the last 250 meters that netted me the stage win, but not the 4 seconds I needed.
After crossing the line he collapsed in exhaustion. At the press conference Floyd told me had I gone from the bottom of the climb I would have beaten him.
The lesson here is focus on you, not others. While it is hard to look inside and make choices that are best for you, this is the strategy that always works out in the end.
Train to become the best version of you. Compete to perform the best way you are capable of.
Whatever you do, don’t try to become the same as or to become better than others. Chasing someone else’s level will just pull you further from the potential level you are capable of.
ALL IN to become the best version of yourself.