September 17, 2004, Newsletter Issue #201: Train Like Lance, part two

Tip of the Week

2. Singularity of Focus. Again, breaking tradition, Carmichael and Armstrong work towards one goal, winning the Tour de France. This was instigated by Johan Brunyeel, the director of Lance`s U.S. Postal Service team. There are many races in cycling but the Tour is the biggest, by far. Winning the Tour is more important than winning every other race of the season. With this in mind, Armstrong trains with one objective while most of his rivals still look towards winning numerous races. This single-minded focus is a huge advantage.

Armstrong`s Postal squad is built entirely around helping Lance win the Tour. Most other teams are not structured this way. In fact, his main rival, Jan Ullrich`s team, attempted the dual task of helping him win the Tour and helping sprinter Eric Zabel win the sprint stages. They paid for this lack of focus on both ends—Ullrich fell to fourth place in the general classification and Zabel failed to win a single stage.

The lesson is that those with a singular goal will always have an advantage.

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