When the sh*t goes down and the screws are turned, we all wage the war against the ingress of doubt. Like cold, salty ocean water, doubt will find its way inside a breach and then... it's only a matter of time before the ship goes down.
Following an effort so hard that it leaves the eyes bloodshot and your feet fried, a rider tries to sort out the race's details. How can one's fitness vary so greatly on back-to-back days? All things being equal, one can point to doubt.
At times, denying doubt is harder than any of the physical efforts doled out. When the group is strung out into a razor sharp point and riders begin popping, doubt becomes tough to ignore. At that moment, the difference between a good day and a bad day is determined by the mind's willingness to ignore the persistant whisper of that f*#ker doubt.
Image courtesy John Pierce, Photosport International