Top talent has a tenuous grip on top performance.

Graham Obree’s 2012 autobiography The Flying Scotsman is a painful read (1). It’s more a book about depression and dealing with it than a book about cycling. Paul McGrath’s autobiography, Back from the Brink is equally painful(2).. Obree fights bipolar disorder and in between times trains to the point of black out. McGrath drinks for 24 hours then turns in a man of the match performance for Aston Villa.

Obree broke the world hour record twice and did so using a bike he’d fashioned himself and rode in a flat out racing position.  McGrath had a sixteen year playing career with most of those years fuelled on alcohol. Top talent often has a tenuous grip on top performance.

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