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Stage 13: Gone with the wind

12/07/2013
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”.  This is what Rhett Butler said to Scarlett O’Hara in the last scene of one of the most famous films of the history of cinema.  That is what Saxo Bank today said to Froome; or Belkin to Valverde, or Omega to Kittel.  The ears of the wheat were bent.  Flags waved with unmeasured force.  Danger was latent and the god of wind, the one that had been overcome in earlier stages, had his revenge with uncontrolled anger and caused an upheaval in a race that seemed would have a different result. 
Stage 13: Gone with the wind

The Tour is the reflection of life and an epic stage, like the one we have experienced, goes to show that.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and today many teams have made a possibly daring but courageous plan that has resulted very well.  What seemed to be a transition stage has become one of the most beautiful of the last years, with a battle that started at 100 kms before the finish and finished with a spectacular butchery with many harmed racers.  The attitude of Omega, later seconded by Saxo Bank and in lesser degree by Belkin, will be remembered for a long time as an example of being able to turnover a race where you least expect it but this is the magic of the Tour and that is why it is the best race of the world.  The glory of the winner is deserved because not only should it be the most regular cyclist, but also he should be aware of all and every situation that arise along the route and have luck, something that Alejandro Valverde did not have today.

13

Nevertheless, one of the keys to success is taking advantage of the bad spells of others to take benefit of those situations and we have to admit that the work of some teams has been frankly extraordinary.  Harm has been caused because that was wanted an that has provoked the goodbye to the podium of the Movistar cyclist, the loss of time of the leader and the simple victory of Cavendish without the presence of his worst enemy in the massive arrivals.  Fanning is one of the normal parts of a three-week race although many times it is more visual than decisive but today it was forced to be otherwise.  The essence of fanning is using the strength of a side wind so that a block accelerates and cuts the pack into pieces.  In this situation, an isolated individual has nothing to do, he is lost, and it is like a pack of lions against s solitary deer:  its destiny will be cruel. In addition, this opens many possibilities that until now probably were not even contemplated.  Chris Froome is the strongest on the Tour but poorly accompanied by a team that has shown a weakness that still surprises me.  The roller that Sky seemed to be has become a group of powerless cyclists incapable of accompanying their team leader in the key moments.  Their rivals know this and that is where the battle is.  Contador is an indomitable warrior that will take advantage of any hint of doubt to take his sword out, the inseparable Mollema and Ten Dam are in a situation they could not have imagined by them at the beginning and Movistar wants vengeance and has a crazy but dangerous Nairo Quintana ready for making blood.  A race that seemed sentenced opens by moments because the solid king has no good soldiers. 

13

Moreover, there is still another passionate week in front.  This Saturday a leg breaking stage with seven climbs where there will be attacks from the very start.  Have no doubt that Sojasun will be one of those looking for escapades... and the Eusebio Unzue team too.  In addition, tomorrow is one of the most decisive days with the climb to the top of Mont Ventoux during a great atmosphere due to being a weekend and because it is also the National Day of France.  Many people have marked this 14th July with an X because the stage ahs 242 kilometres and because it finishes with one of the hardest climbs of the world that can cause havoc.  It is said that at the top of Mont Ventoux there is no oxygen and frankly that is the feeling one has when being there.  There is hardly any vegetation, it is arid land, and the sensation of exhaustion you have when climbing is probably not felt on any of the other high climbs of the French race.  Bu I insist, that will be on Sunday and if anyone slips this Saturday he will pay it very dearly.  Because in this race there is no comradeship or easy days. That is the magic of the Tour. 

That is all my friends. An affective greeting!
 

 

 

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