domingo, 12 de septiembre de 2021

Girona training camp, day 1. Marking my territory

Short, but not flat ride (

The most important thing when you go on a training camp is who gets the town sign sprint points. At least that is the most important thing if I go on a training camp with a bunch of climbers.

I knew T-Y was the man to beat when we are talking sprints. He is definitely not a climber.  

So I did what you have to do in these situations. Mark the man (there might be a tip for you here “Superlopez”). From km 100 I stayed with T-Y. 

He used all his savvy sprinter tricks. Started pretending to have a cramp at the coffee stop. He saved energy in every single climb. He even ingested (questionable) pills arguing they were salt pills. 

Didn’t matter, nothing worked for him.

He slowed down. I slowed down with him. (In fact we slowed down to the point the rest of the group got disqualified for riding too fast).

He stopped for a pee, I stopped with him. He attacked on a descent, I stayed on his wheel. He pretended to have cramps, I didn’t buy any of it.

Still it was far from clear I was going to take the sprint. To start with I had no idea where Girona’s town sign was. Once again I had not studied the route. To make it worse, five kilometres from the end of the ride I had him on my wheel. A dangerous situation with a sprinter like T-Y.

As you should do in these situations I slowed down to force him to get to the front. But T-Y is an experienced sprinter. He knows how to stay on a wheel. I had a problem.

When you have a problem you find solutions. My solution was to shout. “We are only 2.5kms away”.

That did the trick. 

Full of confidence on his power he moved to the front AND INCREASED THE PACE. Hoping to drop me I suppose. 

Wishful thinking. 

I am a (very) experienced sprinter too. I stuck to his wheel and nothing was going to take me out of there. All I was doing was waiting for the moment to jump while he was wasting precious energy. I have better chances in this situation.

Still nothing assured. You know how delicate the balance is between hiding behind a rider and, at the same time, scouting ahead looking for a town sign. Proper mastery is needed.

Eventually I spotted the town sign and I knew that was the moment. Hands on the drops and as we were approaching it moved to the left and launched my sprint. 

It was a close one. Had to throw my bike to take it. But I took it. Just about.

I’m delighted. If I ever meet Mark Cavendish we can exchange histories of unsuspected big wins from perfectly executed sprints. I won’t mind sharing with him all my tricks.

Of course I know it is a big responsibility to start a week’s training camp wearing the green jersey but I hope to grow to the challenge.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s ride with a mixture of humbleness and optimism. 

The ride in Strava

Take care

Javier Arias González

No hay comentarios: