martes, 14 de septiembre de 2021

Girona training camp, day 2. Quelling rebellions

 Another shore but not flat day (

First rebellion was “GC” Denis taking the first town sign sprint of the day.

Second one was “KOM” Ed taking the second one. 

Suddenly it felt like everyone could have a go at the sprints. Something had to be done...

And something was done. 

First I took the next town sign. 

Next I managed to stick to “GC” Denis’ wheel on the first climb of the day. Despite my Garmin’s best efforts to misguide me telling me the climb was finishing about 300m before it actually finished.

Then I took the always important coffee stop town sign. “TT” Adam was going for it!!!

That brought things to normality. 

The main climb of the day started. St. Marti Sacalm, 8km at 7%.

Last at the top of the climb. As I said, things were back to normality.

But not for long.

On the third climb of the day, somehow, I managed again to stay on “GC” Denis’ wheel. Sometimes miracles happen. I’ll admit I was the first one surprised.

“KOM” Ed went for another town sign sprint without realising I was on his wheel. He actually gave me the perfect lead out. Yeah, we were definitively back to normality.

With a clear lead in the green’s jersey competition (remember, the only one that counts) I thought I had quelled all the rebellions but there was still time for “KOM” Ed to take another town sign sprint. After countless kilometres of him pushing the pace at the front and me sitting on his wheel, I decided to move to the front to give him some rest. A sign of fellowship that was paid with a sudden attack no one  would never have expected. That’s what happens when you have climbers believing they can sprint. Cheeky games.

To add insult to injury came the last climb of the day and he moved to the front and pushed the pace. The old “let’s drop the sprinters in the last climb so they can’t take the stage win”.

What a dirty trick. Four kilometres at the front, with head wind, pushing the pace and hoping to drop his fellow riders. Some riders only care about their wins.

Of course I refused to take a single turn at the front. Fair payback if you ask me.

Another rebellion started as soon as we started the descent into Girona. “Consistency” Richard and “TT” Adam attacked and opened a gap. I wasn’t too worried as none of them had any sprint points so I stayed at the back of the group waiting for the others to take responsibility for the situation.

“The other sprinter” TY tried to jump across and ended up in no man's land.

“GC” Denis and “KOM” Ed exchanged a couple of turns trying to bring TY back. 

There you had me sitting on Denis and Ed’s wheel, starting to get annoyed because TY’s natural ability in not technical descents was making it impossible for Ed and Denis to bring him back.

Of course I didn’t even consider helping them. That would have put in jeopardy my capability to sprint. 

But something had to be done...

And something was done. 

Taking advantage of a small ramp to take the road over a railway I attacked and managed to get to TY’s wheel.

Then I suggested to him that he could get a win if he worked with me to keep Ed and Denis away. He started to work with me. What a masterpiece of race craft!

We got to “Consistency” Richard and “TT” Adam when they were stopped at a traffic light. That, obviously, counts as if we have caught them.

Even more, I couldn’t see any Girona town sign and just checked the UCI rules and in those cases the points go to the current green jersey wearer. Which just happens to be me. It is fantastic to see some UCI rules make justice to what happens on the road.

Tomorrow I’ll be wearing a blue jersey. We are a bit tight on budget so we only keep jersey colors in my mind. I’ll still do my best to honor the jersey and compete with fairness to my fellow riders, not like those cheeky climbers. 

The ride in Strava:

Take care

Javier Arias González

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