domingo, 29 de enero de 2023

KW - Tanhouse (shortish) - The sausage roll curse

The Opportunist took the first four sprints of the day. 

One could claim some of those four sprints were a bit made up, but he said he took four and we like to keep him happy so we conceded four wins for him.

After his fourth win, just before the coffee stop, The Opportunist said “Just give me the green jersey”. Confidence was running high.

But The Opportunist made three mistakes.

The first one was not realizing that Alex Wout van Aert was second in all those four sprints.

The Opportunist’s second mistake was going for a sausage roll at Tanhouse. You shouldn’t blame him though. Tanhouse’s sausage rolls are fantastic, you should definitely go for one if you ever stop there. Just make sure you don’t intend to dispute any sprint after the coffee stop.

I took the first sprint after the coffee stop. That was Newdigate’s sprint, a rather prestigious one. Alex Wout van Aert and I were riding two abreast at the front of the group and I just made enough to make sure I passed the town sign first. Looked back and saw The Opportunist at the back of the group. 

Zero points for him. 

That was the curse of the sausage roll starting to show its effects.

You wouldn’t say Newdigate’s sprint was heavily contested. And that was The Opportunist’s third mistake. He was way too far at the back to realize the Canyon team’s strategy was working. 

He probably even didn’t realize there was a Canyon team or a strategy going on. You can’t consider that a mistake though. We, Canyon team members, are so attuned we don’t even need to talk to each other to agree on a strategy. It just happens naturally.  

Came the last sprint, the Horton Roundabouts, the Canyon team acted like the Jumbo team at the Tour of France 2022 (just to be clear this is not to suggest The Opportunist is in any way similar to Pogacar). 

First it was my turn to get to the front. Would you believe it? 

In the second roundabout I sensed a gap behind me so I attacked. 

I have such a killer instinct.

The group blew in pieces and a group of three was formed chasing me. The Opportunist, Alex Wout van Aert and The ExRower (There is always an ex-rower and it is always there. In every climb, in every sprint. Today was not an exception).

Eventually I was caught by that group and soon after that Alex Wout van Aert attacked. 

The Opportunist moved in parallel to me and made it clear that was expecting me to close the gap. 

Not in a million years. That is not a good strategy to play with me, just ask The Pope.

Eventually The Opportunist jumped to try to close the gap. I, of course, jumped on his wheel. 

By the time we got into the home straight Alex Wout van Aert was clearly going to win.

The Opportunist sprinted for second but I also started my sprint and overtook him.

Unfortunately before I got to the line I saw a wheel in the corner of my right eye. 

There was no way that could be The Opportunist. The sausage roll should have been feeling in his stomach like a stone by now. I quickly realized it was The ExRower 

Too late for me. I was already coasting and he passed me just before the line. 

There is always an ex-rower there and, as I said above, today was not an exception.

I didn’t mind being third. All I always care about is for my team to win.

Also, I got my reward as soon as I got home and stopped my Garmin. 

My device was quick to tell me that after today’s ride my FTP has improved by 1 whole watt.

Winning big today.

The ride in Strava:

Take care

Javier Arias González

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