Writers love pointless semantic exercises, which is why for the last week I’ve been trying to pinpoint the difference between endurance, resilience, and perseverance. These words seemingly mean the same thing but are, in fact, deeply nuanced. What Geraint Thomas has shown in this Giro is unequivocally endurance: it’s the ability to steadily sustain an effort, a great burden, day after day, sometimes against all expectations. His age (37) is mentioned by the broadcasters every day as though it is an extraordinary feat in and of itself.
Meanwhile, what Primož Roglič and João Almeida have demonstrated, day by day, is resilience: the genuinely inspiring act of merely clinging to life (sometimes agonizingly, cloyingly) mixed with surprising bursts of energy that seem almost like flourishing.
But I think the most astonishing display in the Giro comes from Derek Gee of Israel Primier Tech who has spent so many days in the break attacking and attacking and tearing out soul from body live on camera both towards the supreme goal of victory but also, perhaps knowingly, for our own entertainment, that the only word able to describe him is perseverance.
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