There isn't much that is more satisfying than athletic success. Training hard and continually working towards improving can be an arduous process, but when it all comes together nothing is more rewarding. I've been preaching the benefits of strength training for endurance sports for years, and the proof is definitely in the pudding.
I managed to win the first road race of the Escape Velocity Spring Series in the men's A division, and I can tell you to win at this level you have to train hard. Training smart, however is even more important. I've been telling cyclists and runners that having an off season that has a significant strength training portion is highly beneficial. The scientific evidence is abundantly clear, proper strength and power training improves endurance performance period.
This off season I committed to 2 weekly strength training sessions for almost 4 months. Funny that when you do things right you don't gain any significant mass (I stayed virtually the same weight) , but your strength and power improves tremendously. I can't stress enough how important this becomes as you age. Our bodies change as we get older. You can't train like a 20 year-old if you are 40. Endurance athletes (cyclist especially) are having success at older ages. A commitment to proper strength training will keep you fast well into your 40's, 50's and 60's; it may even help you surprise all the young local studs by blasting past them on the last hill to cross the finish line alone and in first place...just saying.
If you are an endurance athlete looking to improve your performance Groundwork Athletics is where you should train. Come and work out in an environment that understands the needs of endurance athletes, and watch your abilities attain new heights, even if you are 40 +.