"Winning a major race isn't always who's the fittest on the day or who has the fastest personal time," Mahon said. "It's who knows how to compete against your competitors."
That takes time in training, and the pain of pushing yourself up the hills in the thin air - because the confidence that comes with knowing you've put in the time and you can push back the pain, Mahon said, develops both the "ability to focus" and, more important, the "ability to be a calculated risk taker."
"That," Mahon said, "is as important, if not more important, as all these other things in sport.
"The Michael Jordans, the Kobe Bryants, the Lance Armstrongs - they have that ability to put the rest of the world ... [to make it] just gray. The only thing that's in color is what they're doing that day for training and the goal that they have."
In training now, Mahon said, Hall "does that every day."
(Photo from Universal Sports)