On Sunday, American golf legend Tiger Woods won his fifth career green jacket at Augusta National ending a 14 year Masters drought. In one of the greatest comebacks in golf history, Woods put behind him years of injuries and significant personal problems. People doubted if he could play at a high level again. But just over a year ago, Woods indicated to the world that he was once again finding his form after back surgery comparing the process to getting comfortable riding a new bike.
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 14, 2019
In an interview with ESPN in March of last year, Woods said, “I am pretty close to putting it together. It’s like riding a bike. But it’s a new bike.”
Woods indicated that the process involved rediscovering his bodies limitations, much like a cyclist gets comfortable with the handling and feel of a new bicycle. For Woods, it was a turning point that set him on the course to the 2019 Masters where he was back to his best after 11 years without a major victory when he was by far the worlds most dominant golf player.
“For the better part of 4-6 months, I had to be helped out of bed every day,” he said in 2018. “There were some days where I just, even if you helped me, I couldn’t stand up. I’d fall to the floor or just stay in bed.”
Woods made rediscovering his game sound a bit like tweaking your position on a bike. “The difference is I don’t have the same range of motion. I’m stiffer there. It takes me a little longer to warm up. The angles I used to create with my body, I can’t do that anymore,” he said.
At 43-years-old, Woods wasn’t the only ageing athlete to impose himself in a sport he was once dominant in. At Paris-Roubaix, 36-year-old Philippe Gilbert who has been known throughout his career for his explosive climbing ability won the pan flat Monument across the brutal cobblestones of Northern France.
DREAMS COME TRUE 🤩 pic.twitter.com/zaL8fk0XsD
— PHILIPPE GILBERT (@PhilippeGilbert) April 14, 2019
The victory added to Gilbert’s career achievements that now includes four of the five Monuments of cycling as well as a world championship title. If Gilbert wants to add the fifth missing Monument, Milan-San Remo, much like Woods he may have to tweet his training to conquer the elusive La Primavera.