Started thinking about perfection in sports after reading this paper in the current issue of Athletic Insight.* The perfect race. The perfect season. Do they exist? Yes and no.
THE perfect season, sure -- win every race entered. Rare, but it's possible. Of course the difficulty in pulling it off depends, for the most part, on the competition at the races. A perfect season, as opposed to THE perfect season, could be making the podium at every race. Maybe for the pros it's top ten in all their races or their target races.
I don't think there's ever a perfect race in cycling. Winning a race doesn't make it a perfect race. Assuming the athlete is fit, there's always something that has to be dealt with that might not have been in the mental rehearsal of the race: a flat tire, busted chain, crash... It becomes an exercise in adapting to the situation at hand. Adapt well and minimized the time lost or adapt poorly and reap the whirlwind. The former is made a whole lot easier by "trusting your gut" or "going with your intuition." Just trust the guy behind the wheel; don't think just do. That in turn is not much of a problem if the athlete is relaxed and enjoying the ride.
where E t is the enjoyment over an interval of length t, T is the duration of an event and P is perfection! =)
*The older issues, pre 2006, have some of the better papers as last year was pretty lame.