Seneca, made of stone, is in the shade, fountains and little trees, and as he passes his statue, next to an ancient arch, the sweaty passerby thinks of him, like anyone, like this, in the shade, so calm, I too Stoic and I put up with everything they throw at me, and cyclists pass by quickly, without stopping at all in the heat that burns them.
On the finish line, as wide as a runway, Magnus Cort Nielsen takes off, launched by a Belgian friend in pink, Jens Keukeleire. His heart beats fast again, pulse and beat, and he beats the sprint the Danish great as his name who can do everything, ahead of the defiant Italian Baggioli, an opportunist who awaits his second, and the magnificent specialists Matthews and Trentin, who have no reason for the stoicism so preached, the silent acceptance of misery , but for the oath, bitterness, because the demons carry them. Their teams have worked unstitched all day the burning fields of the Guadalquivir so green for them, so that they would not fail at the decisive moment. They have not lost them. They have lost their companions, a tactic, a strategy, a bus conversation, a mad climb to the monastery of San Jerónimo de Valparaíso, so close to Medina Azahara, their descent without brakes, and even more speed to devour unredeemed escapees, and blond children, like the Belgian Van Gils, on the ascent to the Villares park, called a 14% stop because of the traffic sign that warns of the danger of the slope of one of its ramps.
Magnus has won, the fashionable mustache, who is excited because the fans have seen him so much this Vuelta, his pink jersey illuminating the ascent of the Cullera mountain, where he wins, or making side to side swings in Valdepeñas after make the platoon march in his wake for long kilometers, a few days later, which recognizes and encourages him. “I have recovered my old self, that of sprinter“Says the happy Dane who has already won five stages in his various Laps, and a week ago he was so happy in Cullera because he no longer won only at sprint.
All the sun for him, for all, who dream of fresh water and an air-conditioned room, even if it makes them sneeze, and cannot afford indifference to comforts or contempt for fortune, or abandon themselves and in a port stop pedaling hard, letting yourself be carried away, how the shadow tempts Óscar Cabedo through the lands of Montoro, where, at least, they do not bypass the Guadalquivir following its meander back and forth at 40 degrees. “My body asks me to do it, but I can’t”, says the Castellón climber from Onda. “We have to endure the heat at 50 per hour, and it’s three weeks.”
And always in the sun, the same sweaty stroller can finally understand why the Gómez del Moral brothers, José and Antonio, the cycling glories of Cabra, Córdoba, who laughed at the heat, were like this, as tough as the subbética. José helped Bahamontes win the Tour, he won the Tour of Colombia and he stayed to live in Boyacá, in Sogamoso, the city of Fabio Parra. His little brother, Antonio, the only man from Cordoba who has won a stage of the Vuelta in Córdoba, died there as he also died, nothing ago.
They were the cycling trade, synonymous with internal rebellion, something else, and an old cyclist, Amalio Hortelano, is outraged, an old cyclist, Amalio Hortelano, cultured and tough, who wants to know from where the commentators have invented that leading group to describe the escape , because more than the cyclist slang, in which he has never appeared, the expression reminds him of an element of furniture, the one that always wobbles in bed, and creaks, or, worse, the neighbor next door asking in the Butcher’s head of loin, which leads him to think that there are some who think of cyclists as just juicy pieces of meat. And instantly, pumbaa, great general shot of a great crossbow curve towards San Jerónimo that the platoon begins to trace fluidly and from which, suddenly, as if expelled by centrifugal force, a half Jumbo is thrown towards the ditch and undergrowth, Primoz Roglic among them, and a few other cyclists. Nothing is done, apparently, but their rout, repaired with a few kilometers of hard effort to link, generates chills of fear, although not as intense as those awakened by the plane of the piece of meat, yes, the entire bare right thigh of the Fallen Portuguese cyclist Nelson Oliveira, the muscles so smooth crossed by a grid of blood, like the marks left by thorns on the skin.
Stoic, of course, Oliveira finished. Seneca can come and tell it.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.