That's the way he is.
I got to chat with Jason over lunch the day after his return. He was still in LaLaland, suffering from severe jetlag, but I asked...
Were you and the bike expected to win? Yes....
You weren't on the podium, do you still feel like a winner? Yes!
Winning the Caldecott is surreal!!
Jason is truly honored...
Perhaps those who are more astute on the subject can school me, but here's my take on the Caldecott...
Iíd never heard of Andy Caldecott before this week. A legendary competitor whose life was cut short striving to be the best yet again. A keen sportsman and family man who earned every point of respect he was given, and then some. I would have been proud to have met him.
Those that knew him have created an award in his honor that is given each year to one competitor at the conclusion of the event. There is no mention of it on the website and the details of the award criteria are not written down in the rules.
The award is not for the machine, or the team or country that won the race. It is for an individual who leads by example. Itís not necessarily for the person standing on podium.
It can only be won by someone who demonstrates the best in sport, and in life. Someone whoís willing to help push you out of the rut, as he is to push his own dead machine across the finish. That sort of thing. The kind of mate youíd hope for in the proverbial foxhole...
Vince Lombardi claimed to be misquoted. It should read, ďWinning isnít everything. It the will to win, thatís the only thing.Ē
That spirit is what The Caldecott is for.
Itís not about start/finish times. Or the fastest stages. Or the biggest, baddest factory machinery with bankroll.
Itís for the guy that reminds us of who we are , and who we might want to be someday. Heís not pictured on the podium, but his shadow keeps the light levels down.
The Andy Caldecott Award is a recognition of excellence on all levels.
You donít have to be first, to be a winner in this category.
Congratulations to Jason Adams and Rooney Racing for a race well run.
You are legendary competitors at the top of your game. Respected by your peers for your achievement, and then some.