Escolha uma Página

Avian flu was of concern because it also affected humans

But he returned and a year later, in Innsbruck, he was proclaimed world champion and two later he finished the Vuelta in second position behind Primoz Roglic and ahead of Tadej Pogacar.


In 2005 the cycling was very choppy and circulated through a dark tunnel led by Armstrong who won the sixth of the seven Tours that have been erased from the history of the race. A teammate, the Italian Paolo Salvodelli, won the Giro and it took seven years, with an appeal and a final ruling from the Supreme Court, for Roberto Heras to be proclaimed as the official winner of the Vuelta.

A few months ago, Pope John Paul II had died and the world was also altered by another virus, although it was not as lethal and criminal as covid-19. Bird flu was of concern because it also affected humans. Only Angela Merkel, who made her debut in Germany, remains in office. When Valverde began his career on the Tour, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero was the President of the Spanish Government, Jacques Chirac, the French President and George W. Bush, the United States. The world changes, and sometimes not exactly for the better, but Valverde continues to attend the Tour as if everything were the same.

It was not the same in 1986 because then the goal was that of Alpe d'Huez, and that are major words on the Tour, and because the protagonists were the outgoing winner, Bernard Hinault, and the one who was called to arrive in Paris in yellow. and that it was none other than Greg Lemond.


On at 18:54 CEST

Sergi López-Egea @sergi_lopezegea


Tour de France

It was not the same, because in fact, the leading team was the almighty Ineos, formerly Sky, the squad that has won all the Tours since 2012 except for 2014. And this year it was a losing team rather than a winner. And because in fact, despite the display at the Alpine farewell, it was a hug that only served to put out the fire of a defeat on the way to the Champs Elysees and of a team with its stars divided and separated. Missing in action both Chris Froome (Tours of 2013, 2015, 2016 app and 2017) as Geraint Thomas (Tour of 2018) and retired Egan Bernal (Tour of 2019) the British squad had no choice but to go to stages, nor one led, like so many other rival teams, in this French round that Primoz Roglic dominates at will.

Michal Kwiatkowski, the Polish cyclist who was proclaimed the 2014 world champion in Ponferrada, reached the finish line with Richard Carapaz, the Ecuadorian cyclist who a year ago, as a Movistar rider, won the Giro. It could well be said that Carapaz's reaction arrived, albeit quickly, too late, escaping every day in the Alps, a fighter like the most, one hundred percent nonconformist, a magnificent climber who should be asked -of course his team- ¿¿ where was he on this tour? Why did it show up so late? And if it hadn't been worth protecting him a little more, cheering him on ad nauseam, because he could have been the second valid rider for the general standings due to a Bernal failure.

They were hugs and applause between them, because the cycling philosophy does not allow. Unlike other sports that are practiced on wheels, although with gasoline and motor, two teammates fight for victory as if life depended on it. And, in fact, it could even be said that Carapaz was very unlucky that his Polish companion endured so much and so well when the normal thing would have been that he passed the impressive Plateau des Glières, the last special category port of this Tour, It was confirmed that Roglic's group, with Mikel Landa and Enric Mas, who were fighting to redistribute the overall from fourth place, was not going to reach them even if the sky fell on them. their heads.

King of the mountain

So much flight, so much courage on the peaks, he rewarded Carapaz, the son of peasants, the boy who grew up next to the Colombian border listening to the radio and watching on TV the deeds of neighboring beetles, with the reign of the mountain so that A posh climber, with face and eyes, can arrive in Paris dressed in the polka dot sweater, although only two points ahead of Tadej Pogacar a final ascent, on Saturday, in a chronoscaled plan, to the Planche des Belles Filles that can finish to define how little seems to be at stake in the Slovenian Tour. “Since I have conquered this jersey, now we will try to find the best strategy to defend it in the time trial,” said Carapaz, a free man in the Alps, a cyclist who even seemed not to be amused by handing over the stage to his partner. But it was the law of cycling, not always fair for those like Carapaz who deserved a victory.

Attendance at the Champs Elysees is limited to 5,000 spectators

All roads lead to Paris

On the Tour of the Slovenes and on the Plateau des Glières Landa brought out all his genius to attack, hallelujah, hallelujah, someone who attacks tens of kilometers from a goal! It was the only offensive, beyond the fences area, except for Pogacar in the Peyresourde, which has been seen on this Tour. The fury served him to ascend to fifth place in the general ranking and take down the weakest of the day, Adam Yates and Rigo Urán. But with Roglic's savage army behind him and insane any other goal was a call to failure.

The plane from Paris to Malaga had arrived late and there was a frightful queue at the car rental agency. For this reason, the French journalist who had a hotel booked in Fuengirola arrived very late. There were two days left until the 2015 Vuelta began in Puerto Banús, which Fabio Aru won after sinking Tom Dumoulin in the mountains of Madrid. It was 11 p.m. and he spotted an open restaurant on the Paseo Marítimo. He came with another mentality. And he almost entered the establishment pleading: "Do you still serve dinner?"he said in almost perfect Spanish. "Of course sir, it's 11pm and we're on second shift".

Sep 18, 2020 at 3:54 pm CEST

Sergi López-Egea @sergi_lopezegea


Tour de France

In deep France, with preserved villages like nowhere, with ‘chateaux' every time you raise your head, with buildings that continue to recall the Napoleonic past, with friendly people, there is something that continues to resist year after year and it is night time . The kitchen continues to close before 9 at night and, surely, with the example of Fuengirola, they would hallucinate. And the Tour is like a box of chocolates. You open it and you never know what you can find.


The Tour of Spain in these things is more predictable. There is no hotel that does not have the reception open 24 hours a day and there are no codes to open and close doors, places that can be wonderful to go on vacation, but where you cannot enter before 6:00 p.m., and at 9:00 p.m. tomorrow they already ask you what time you plan to leave. And be careful not to notify, because you can find the doors closed, although generally in a mailbox there is an envelope with the name of the guest and a key inside.

A few years ago I wrote a book chapter about the anecdote of the crutch in the room. It happened on the night of July 1991 in which Miguel Induráin, arriving second at Val Louron after Claudio Chiappucci, wore yellow for the first time. In the room, which was unmade, there was a crutch that a guest had forgotten and a medicine cabinet full of medicines, with open bottles, which surely any doctor in charge of doping control would have liked to send to a laboratory.


And it is that, sometimes, even now, with fewer people because of the covid-19, the towns and regions collapse and they do not give enough to attend, always the best possible, that is indisputable, to all the people who arrive, who seek accommodation, who want to avoid going to sleep on an empty stomach.

Because there are so many and so many people who are used to moving the big cycling rounds, 2,000 or 3,000 people the Vuelta and the Giro, and almost twice as much, except for this year for obvious reasons, the Tour. But the thing about the box of chocolates is also applicable to the Italian round. Miguel Induráin and his entourage from the then team called Banesto were happy and delighted to have the same hotel for two days at the Giro in 1992, the first of the two won by the Navarrese rider, which prevented them from opening and closing suitcases and, above all, to have more time to rest. Well, all the joy in the well. The hotel turned out to be a dating establishment and there was a continuous movement of people in the corridors, all of them male, who did nothing to disturb and disturb the cyclists' sleep. Logically, the next day they looked for another place to sleep.


Missing in action

An alpine goodbye in fraternity

And what is the point of talking about chocolates and surprises now? Possibly some reader will not believe what I am going to tell next but it happened on Wednesday, after the great stage of Col de la Loze, to a person accredited in the race. The Alpine aparthotel, between which it had been closed due to confinement and had not been reopened until the Tour, was at the foot of Méribel. All overwhelmed! But it's true that to win the Tour you have to know how to ride a bike, that the protagonist of this anecdote opened his room, went to the bathroom, and what did he find floating in the toilet? It is easy to imagine. The Tour, for good and for bad, is a delightful world of surprises, even if they are not always pleasant.

The 2020 Tour is the French round of figures missing in action, those who have had to give up due to lack of strength and because they could not test before due to the suspension of most races due to the coronavirus. The cyclists, like the rest of the people, athletes or not, had to be confined and then did not know how to calibrate a good preparation to arrive in optimal conditions in Nice.