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From Corsica to Paris: The end of the journey

22/07/2013
 
Three weeks ago we started in Corsica lands and in the BH space, a double adventure: On one hand we wanted to live the Tour from inside and on the other we wanted to transmit to all cycling lovers what this race is like from all points of view.  Our objective was not prepare a chronicle, but to reflect the feelings of the racers, the perception of what was happening, to talk about all the race environment and what it means for France and for the world, presenting a humble team like Sojasun and also relating stories of the past.  
From Corsica to Paris: The end of the journey


I have 31 Tours on my shoulders but I never had the opportunity of doing anything like this and the experience has been frankly positive.  Even my good friend Perico Delgado congratulated me and that makes me feel proud.  I hope that you have also liked it and that you have learnt new things. 

Over these 22 days many things have happened and without doubt the first image of the race was the Orica coach blocking the finish line of the first stage and putting at serious risk the arrival.  It was an unusual situation in the race and one of the situations that will remain in the history of the French tour.  It was the first time that the race visited Corsica and those who did not know this island left enthusiastic about this paradise where we were very close to the yellow jersey of Julien Simon.  Later we visited the glamour of Nice and Marseille where the public jammed the roads and from there we went to the Pyrenees where in the first ascent Chris Froome gave an authentic exhibition later endorsed in the time-trail and on Mont Ventoux, the mountain without oxygen where he sentenced the race.  
Stage 13 was in between, and this for me is the most important of this edition which will always remain in our collective memory.  This was the day of fanning when Omega y Saxo Bank at 110 kilometres from the finish broke the pack and taking advantage of the side wind broke the large group into little pieces.  It was risky, courageous, daring wager and thanks to that we experienced an anthological day.  For me, these fans are the image of the centenary Tour.  In addition, I also favour the environment in Bretagne, with the spectacular amount of spectators in the double ascent of the Alpe d'Huez, with the return of the Colombian fervour thanks to the magnificent actuation of Nairo Quintana and with the effort of Purito Rodriguez in the last ascent of the Alps to reach the podium at the cost of a declined Alberto Contador. 

And of course I like the final show in the Champs Elysees as a precious brooch to a great race.  Holding the final stage at night was truly a right decision, something magic with the Arc de Triomphe illuminating the winners with the colours of the different jerseys.  It was really good and we all enjoyed it very much.  The night was long and in the team we had dinner all together drinking some champagne and good wine brought from La Provenza.  We enjoyed it with the cyclists that told their experience of these three weeks and it was especially charming to hear the youngest ones who have had their dream come true by reaching Paris.  It was nice being there with this small family of BH Sojasun because I have different situations than before.  Until now I had been in great teams with Perico, Miguel Indurain or previously with Arroyo and I was a bit uncertain of what the experience would be like in a modest team without anyone capable of winning the overall classification.   And I was surprised by the magnificent environment, how they helped each other but above all I was delighted by the care they have transmitted to the people, especially in Bretagne territory.  All the fans knew the name of our racers; they supported them and congratulated them on their efforts and their competiveness they have shown each day by joining the escapades. That care helps you overcome adverse situations, in spite of their not being so many bad days and I should admit I have enjoyed this adventure like a young boy. 


I wish to say goodbye but not before thanking Sojasun and BH for letting me live with them this magnificent experience.  At the moment they offered me to be in the race as well as writing this blog I was greatly enthusiastic but only after finalising it all do I feel tremendously proud of having been part of this journey.  I want to thank you all, for having followed this space, for your happiness.  I hope I have contributed a new vision of the Tour and that you all have gotten to know another part of the best sport and the best race in the world. 

It was a pleasure my friends.  A warm embrace!



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