Today’s quote is from Tyler Hamilton. Hamilton was a teammate of banned cyclist Lance Armstrong during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tour de France where Armstrong won the Yellow jersey. He is the only American rider to win one of the Five Monuments of Cycling (Liège–Bastogne–Liège in 2003). Unfortunately, he was doping when he won the race, like the vast majority of the pro peloton, in the “dark ages of cycling”. But after reading his book, The Secret Race, I am convinced that Hamilton is a good guy. You can also read the comments about the book on amazon.
In the 116th page of the book, Hamilton tells about how a cyclist “feels great”:
“For the first part of the Ventoux climb, I felt great. I should point out that when a bike racer says he feels great, he does not actually feel great. In fact, you feel like hell – you’re suffering, your heart is jumping out of your chest, your leg muscles are screaming, flashes of pain are moving around your body like so many strings of Christmas lights. What it means is that while you feel like crap, you also know the guys around you feel even crappier, and you can tell through their subtle expressions, the telltale signs, that they’re going to crack before you do. Your pain, in that situation, feels meaningful. It can even feel great.”
 The story is from Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré 2000 (after 2010, Critérium du Dauphiné).
 Hamilton, T.; Coyle, D. The Secret Race, Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs. Bantam Press, 2012.