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Stage 3: One second away from glory

01/07/2013
Today I am leaving Corsica with a strange sensation. Very satisfied with the fantastic action of the team but with a certain sad feeling of having victory at our fingertips.  The best success of sport is gaining the yellow jersey of the Tour de France and we have been at a miserable one second of reaching it with Julien Simon.  That short period, unappreciable for the majority of humans, is what separated Simon from Bakelants, or in other words, what separates the prizes, the interviews, the general recognition, and the kisses from the girls on the podium from practically indifference.  However, Simon is aware that his second overall place makes him grow as a cyclist and what is most important is to gain maturity and not to sink.  I am proud of him and of the rest of the team, especial today of “Pikachu” as we also know Alexis Vuillermoz.  Arriving from the mountain bike, he was the escaped leader for more than 100 kilometres wearing the Sojasun green jersey along the route in beautiful Corsica. He was world under-23 sub-champion in 2009 in BTT and, guess who was fourth behind him and without a medal? A certain Peter Sagan.  
Stage 3: One second away from glory

Historia BH A Peter Sagan that today arrived at less than one second from glory in this third stage. I would say he was at just one millimetre because the distance Simon Gerrans has achieved over him in the sprint could not be any more. Generally, cyclists know who the winner is but today both have doubted because the difference was so small. Sagan is a winner, someone with a special gene and with spectacular physical conditions. In spite of his youth, he has a list of triumphs that few can boast but I am sure that it must have been very aggravating to see yourself beaten, although he has the consolation of winning the green jersey. Because sprinters are selfish, they are a special race with different genetic qualities form the rest of the pack. Their legs are stronger; they are more muscular and are hungry for victories probably more than the rest. A sprinter has to be the best, because in the races they only remember the winner, the second place does not exist.

Historia BH Throughout my years in the pack, there was a sprinter who impressed me: Mario Cipollini. He responded perfectly to all the previously mentioned characteristics but corrected and improved. He was extraordinary, a human earthquake with unmeasured ambition for winning. That was the only verb in his brain. He was tall, strong, powerful, an arrogant and media minded athlete both for the press and for women. They raffled him, in fact in the pack he was known as “Il Bello” because his success at the finishing line was similar to his triumphs with the most beautiful women. Although many thought that they would make him lose concentration, I do not believe that at all and his track record is there for all to see. He won in all possible ways and created such panic in his rivals that tormented them in a way that I have not seen in other racers. True he was self-compliant but every time I have been with him, he was very correct and very polite. Not long ago we met and he is still the same: geniuses never change.

Historia BH Otherwise, today we leave Corsica, a gratifying experience where I believe the Tour will return and possibly other competitions of the calendar. The beautiful landscape has captivated the organisers of the tour and the roads were not as dangerous as could have been expected, although there are situations that can be improved. There was much fear in the heart of the teams for the falls and therefore the favourites have hardly made any moves, except Chris Froome yesterday. It was a route where everyone wanted to cover their own backs, and nobody wanted to lose “bits of skin”, therefore the leaders have been safeguarded by their aggregates. Now I am one of the six ships on the way to Nice. The team personnel, the sponsors, means of communication and the rest of the publicity caravan are on the ship; the cyclists go by plane. They are the stars of this grandiose spectacle and need all possible comforts, as it should be. Tomorrow the team time-trial where the best have their first serious test for the overall classification. We will see how they respond: For us it will be a very different film and nobody will consider us, but nobody can ever forget how we started. We will fight, and fight a lot.

That is all my friends. Greetings from Corsica!

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