From Abruzzo is Dario Cataldo, a cyclist with the soul of an artist who proudly travels his roads guiding Marc Soler, and if he had time, if they were going for a walk and not competing for his life in a race that has no mercy on those who get lost – -of poor Mohoric, the best downloader in the platoon, who turns the full bell holding on to a bicycle that breaks into pieces and ends up lying down, with a concussion-, Cataldo would point out, perhaps, there in the distance, small towns “Clinging to the slopes of the gray mountains, barren, arid as if arranged on great stairs”, as Fontamara wrote; He would tell her about their tragedies, earthquakes, the massacres of civilian populations by Nazi-fascist troops, of pagan rites of ancient peoples such as ringing bells with their teeth or taking out Santo Domingo in procession with the image invaded by live and fat snakes.
And he would tell him that the story is they, they write it together, and he would tell him about hope, the beauty and the pleasure of living there, and miraculous stories, of how a small town, Roccaraso, achieved 70 years later than Germany. compensate the descendants of the 128 inhabitants whom he massacred in 1943; or how another miserable little town, Rocca di Cambio, the highest municipality in Abruzzo, 1,434 meters, managed to end a stage of the 1965 Giro there, and how, out of charm, the town got electricity, and its road was paved and a ski resort was built, there, in the middle of nowhere, which they called Campo Felice, and up there, many years later, Egan happily cries, who surely will not know anything about Abruzzo, but where he feels like At home, in his world, he, the boy who has long been called the Wonder Child of Zipaquirá, a cyclist of instinct, of inspiration, after his wonderful ascent, his miracle, until the stage victory, his first triumph stage in a big one, because he won the 19 Tour with the frustration that the stage in which he attacked and achieved the yellow jersey never ended, he cut himself at the top of the Iseran, and he could never raise his arms, until the pink jersey, which he wears for the first time at the end of the ninth stage of his first Turn.
Campo Felice is reached by a steep dirt path, dirt from an old road and sweat, pure fiction since it is the route used by the large vehicles that prepare the ski slopes in the winter, which is not that far.
There Egan, so he tells it, plunges into a bubble, in his world, from which he emerges as an apparition, an exhalation that paralyzes the two fugitives from afar who open the trail, Bouwman and Bouchard, who turn away scared, lie down. to one side, because they fear that the gale that Egan raises, flying with the wind in its favor, will carry them ahead, as the Colombian told them, as soon as they started to roll on land, with a kilometer and a half to go. at 9%, very good, now it’s all about going full throttle for four minutes, not thinking about anything, not looking at anyone, butt, butt, and what happens will happen. And Vlasov, one of the favorites, accelerates with 600 meters to go and Egan may not see him, who comes out behind with 500 meters to go, and accelerates, accelerates, and does not stop. And he doesn’t even raise his arms when crossing the finish line, alone, outstanding, with a few seconds of advantage, enough. “And I didn’t pick them up because I didn’t even know I had won the stage,” he says. “I was in my world, so focused that I didn’t realize it had happened to everyone.”
It has happened to the escapees. It has left its rivals behind. Marc Soler, the best of the Spaniards, is not bad at Cataldo’s company, since he only yields 12s; Ciccone, the other Abruzzo of the squad, and Vlasov reach 7s; Remco, the flea in white that has suffered, at 10s, and is second overall, at 15s from Egan who claims all power for him despite the fact that, he explains, he did not trust himself as much as his teammates did. “It has been two very difficult years since I won the Tour,” says the 24-year-old Colombian. “Very tough physically and mentally.” He retired from the ’20 Tour with a shattered back, and the winter of the pandemic was hard by the memory of how the ’19 Tour, his victory, was not played in full. “And it was my teammates who decided, halfway through the stage, that we had to go for the escape, that we had to go for everything, stage and jersey, and I did not want to put the team on top for such an explosive arrival, that I thought it was not going well for me ”, adds Egan, and with the facts he completes all the words, almost prophetic wishes, that he pronounced in the morning, before leaving, in the Piazza del Plebiscito in Castel di Sangro. “I do not want to add anything to what I have already said many times about the situation in Colombia,” said the cyclist from Zipaquirá, who has repeatedly shown his concern for his people and his support for a negotiated solution to the conflict. “Now I want to focus only on giving him joy. I would like to have the rose now … If I could … “
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.