lunes, 3 de junio de 2024

Giro d'Granada

GC Denis was G, Bidders was Ganna and I was Arensman.

The Pope was Pogacar. 

Richard L. was riding for that team of Spanish speakers.

Mark was JuanPe Lopez. Liked by everyone but not in his best form for this Giro.

TY was riding for one of those small teams. Only invited to the Giro to make some noise. To put on a show more for the TV than for real cycling aspirations.

The DS was very clear with his orders in the morning. Today was a day for the breakaway. A short stage with a climb at the beginning. Let the breakaway go. With 30k to go put Ganna on the front, get the breakaway back and save the stage for the GC rider.

Have you ever wondered what the hell the Ineos team is doing?

That happened today.

Before we knew it we were in the breakaway. Ganna setting the pace in the front. G on his wheel and I glued to G’s wheel. Giving him that extra 5% of efficiency. Amazing domestique work.

The peloton, led by Pogacar, caught us just before the climb. Well, at least we made him work hard.

I saw any aspirations to the GC (which I will never admit I had) disappear in this first climb. 

In the second climb I offered my leader a gel before being dropped a few meters. A gesture that was rewarded with his demand of putting “a solid hour of power at the front”. A demand that made me question my loyalties.

Luckily for me TY attacked and all I had to do was to sit on his wheel. He started to move his elbows. I thought he wanted to imitate a butterfly. Maybe that was a new way of getting more aero drag. He started to complain when he almost dislocated his shoulder. Apparently he was expecting me to take turns with him. I played the “my leader is at the peloton” card and he eventually sat up.

As soon as the peloton caught us, Pogacar attacked. 

Who followed him?


It looked to me like a very dangerous attack. Our GC aspirations were at risk. 

It was all in my mind though. It turns out he was only going for an intermediate sprint. Just for the fun of it. 

A shame for him I spoiled the party by taking the sprint. I don’t remember the name of the town but I’m sure that gave me enough points to comfortably lead the sprints jersey classification and the end of the day.

A left turn came and with it a change in wind direction. Before we knew it a breakaway was formed.

Ganna, the Movistar rider and TY, very active all day, got a decent gap.

Pogacar panicked and started the chase.

I sat on his wheel guiding my leader through this critical moment.

At some point Pogacar, like TY before, started to imitate a butterfly. 

In your dreams, I thought. We have a man in the breakaway. You want to catch them? Work harder man. Get yourself tired. We are happy to sit comfortably on your wheel. Race craft at its best.

I repeat myself, have you ever wondered what the hell the Ineos team is doing?

G decided to start working with Pogacar. Even JuanPe started to collaborate in the chase. I felt forced to contribute too, clearly against my will and best judgment.

It took us a while but the strength of the chasers, especially when I started to contribute, was too much for the breakaway. Soon enough the peloton was all together.

After the feed zone it was clear the stage was going to finish in a bunch sprint. One of those that no one is interested in. 

At the end it was a very entertaining stage from the GC point of view but without changes in the positions.

If anything it was one more day confirming what an amazing domestique I am. Some would argue that I’m more interested in defending my 6th position in the GC (out of seven riders) but that is the sign of the untrained eye of the amateur, incapable of appreciating all the work that happens behind the scenes.

I, for one, don’t miss any of those details.

The ride in Strava:

Take care of yourself

Javier Arias González

No hay comentarios: