Three time world Cyclocross Champion Wout Van Aert came into the 2018 Strade Bianche as an outsider. Untested in major one day road racing, few predicted he would go so close to winning in Siena. After riding and attacking for over 5 hours, averaging over 360 watts for the duration and desperately trying to hold the wheel of Frenchman Romain Bardet, Wout's legs finally gave up on the final climb to the finish, as he cramped up, and was forced to famously dismount his bike.
This image, shot by pro cycling photographer Chris Auld, is one which captures the bravery, determination, and relentless suffering pro riders face. In a way, we all face the same battle with our legs, and our minds on our own rides. When we see this image, we see strength.