Today, I am thankful for a decisive win.
The Tour de France. Stage 20. A 53 kilometer time trial over rolling terrain. For cyclists, the ultimate race of truth.
Few experts think Carlos Sastre can preserve his "shaky" 1'34" lead over Cadel Evans. Even 7-time winner Lance Armstrong predicts that Evans will more than make up the deficit.
We watch the top five riders leave the starting gate at three-minute intervals. We await the results at each time check.
The news surprises the experts. Sastre is not losing a lot of time. Evans is not making up lost ground. 1'34" might as well be an hour.
In the end, Sastre rides the time trial of his life and keeps the coveted yellow jersey. Although I am not a Sastre fan, I join cycling fans around the world in applauding his apparent victory.
Actually, I'm glad that Sastre kept the yellow jersey. At the end of the day, he simply out-rode his closest rivals. He knew his mission and what he had to do to accomplish it. No pre-race complaints, whines or excuses either. He realized that victory depended on his own talent, courage and determination, not a rival's poor performance or bad luck.
A true champion, Sastre successfully controlled his own destiny.
He took the proverbial bull by its horns and rode like the wind.
For this blessing, I am grateful.