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Stage 6: The defeat of Eolo

04/07/2013
The figure of the God of wind has always frightened the pack.  Its imposing figure wielding its sceptre surrounded by turbulent whirlwinds is one of the largest enemies of cyclists, especially those that want the final triumph.  However, tiredness takes its toll and the teams of sprinters have beaten Eolo weakened by the power of the multicolour serpent.
Stage 6: The defeat of Eolo

During the 176 kilometres of the stage today finishing in Montpellier, the wind has not been as strong as was expected, even during some of the phase, it was favourable and although it had generated much tension in the hearts of the large group, it was not decisive at the finish but yes during the race.  In spite of the tranquillity generated by the vines and cattle of the area, as this is an area with great bullfighting tradition in places like Nimes or Arles, there was much fear and except for an initial escape, the rest of the stage was run with all the cyclists together.  However, in spite of all, there were nerves, fights for the position and a constant sensation that something was going to happen.  Via television, the stage may have seemed boring but I assure you that along the route the perception was very different.  However, nothing important happened although one day more, falls have had a leading role and in the race, Greipel has won over Cavendish that was not well placed and in spite of that, he came third.

CoppiOne of the news of the day was the leadership of the South African Daryl Impey, this being the first time that a racer of the nationality takes the yellow jersey of the Race, although in 2007 his compatriot Robert Hunter was the pioneer for winning a stage.  This demonstrates how globalisation is extending to cycle racing and yesterday we saw the Japanese Arashiro and the dark-skinned Kevin Reza, a Frenchman from the island of Guadeloupe, in the escaped bunch.  Probably in the future this may become normal but now it is very difficult to see oriental or dark-skinned racers among the best but everything changes.  The youngest of us do not consider the presence of American or Australian racers as strange but 30 years ago; this was a “rare sight”. The first outstanding Aussie was Phil Anderson who in 1981 was the first non-European to wear the yellow jersey.  He was a powerful man with very important triumphs like the Amstel Gold Race, the Dauphine, the Swiss Tour or stages in the Giro or in the Tour.  Even many said he would one of the greatest favourites to win the 1983 edition due to the absence for injury of Bernard Hinault although he never could be on the top of the podium in Paris but he did mark a way that many and good cyclist from those lands have followed.  Another pioneer was Greg Lemond who in 1986, in full post Hinault era, was the first man from outside of the old continent to win the Tour and that started to show in the United States an unknown sport for the majority of its inhabitants.  


Coppi

One of the other aspects where we see globalisation is the publicity caravan, one of the attractions of the race, especially for the fans and for commercial brands.  This has changed a lot since its origin that was curiously motivated by the anger of Henri Desgrange.  The founder of the French race in 1930 decided to create this platform because he was tired of the alliances between the different bike manufacturers so that the same sponsors always won with the brands they wanted.  Desgrange decided that all of them would race with the same yellow-coloured bicycle, but he had to finance them somehow so he opted for this way.   The first time it came there were only three brand cars of a very popular chocolate in that period that circulated behind the pack.  As the amount of cars taking part grew, the decision was taken that the vehicles would be in front of the cyclists. The commercial firms were increasing, with brands of aperitifs and electrical goods as well as the chocolates the most successful.  It was a great claim and caused the public to be more interested waiting for the Tour because there were gifts and many were entertained with the music of the accordion that was the typical sound of the caravan for many years.  Children took their place waiting for caps or bottles that were thrown like authentic treasures and it was usual to see kids on the beach with sunshades from the race.  Currently it is still one of the assets of the race and they say that more than half of the spectators are there to see it.  In fact, in this Tour, it is formed by 182 vehicles directly representing 32 brands occupying a space of 6 kilometres that needs about half an hour to pass.  It has completely changed its aspect, the music of the accordion has become electronic music, and the cardboard panels have been replaced by three-dimensional electronic panels.


Coppi

Above all, when the commercial brands are happy is when their racers do well in the race.  In this sense, in the core of Sojasun there is much satisfaction for the performance of the team. Today has been weird, without practically any attacks, but there is a very good atmosphere because the team are meeting the objectives marked for the first week and all we have is the sadness at being just one second away from victory in the last stage in Corsica.  When things go well the atmosphere is better, there are more jokes, and that is noticed because in addition, although we have had some falls, none of them were serious.  Hivert is well after having fallen yesterday and El Fares is practically recovered from his accident a couple of days ago.  Watch out for tomorrow’s stage because it is right for escapades and for sure, we will fight form the start to be in one of them.  We will fight to be in front but above all to win.  This is our dream and dreams can come true. 

That is all my friends. Greetings from Montpellier!
 

 

 

 


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