One day, many years ago, Miguel Indurain, at the peak of his art, allowed some people to contemplate a stress test he underwent. Those who watched it relate the 20 minutes as a hypnotic experience, the Navarrese giant motionless on the stationary bike, harmonious pedaling, the sound of the roller spinning fast and heavy, and the sound is almost the same as the low rumble on the smooth asphalt. of the lenticular wheel, the rear one, of Filippo Ganna’s Pinarello, pure lines like that of Miguel Fisac’s institute, there next to it, a goat’s razor blade so fine the profile of the frame that it cuts the warm air at 56 per hour along the wide avenues next to the Pisuerga. He places his arms, as gigantic as Indurain’s, on the handlebars, a custom-made throne on a 3D printer. His helmet, the glasses that magnify his cross-eyed gaze with two large lenses like diving suits, the sticker that reminds us that he, the Piedmontese, is Top Ganna, give him an air of an insect that, like the wasps in the verses of Jorge Guillen, poet from the earth, and from the air, they dive, enormous, 1.93 meters, 83 kilos, 500 watts, and gravitate, tricolor, for a few exquisite moments. His body, his phenomenal engine, is one with the machine. A single chainring, with 62 teeth, at the front. A white bike. For 25 kilometers, just over 27 minutes. It is perfection, poetry, to which Remco Evenepoel iridescently aspires.
Indurain, who rode the same Zorrilla ride up and down several times as a cyclist against the clock, and at the age of 21 in a prologue in Pucela, the capital, made his debut in the Vuelta, he returns almost 40 years later and on a bicycle, calm, forgetting his speeds that everyone They were scared, he makes the trip in the morning. “If there is no wind, there will be few differences,” he predicts. Only Ganna and Evenepoel, above all, break their foresight. Not the wind, not the science of Marco Pinotti, the Italian time trial savant, who predicts that no one will exceed 53 on average. The first rolls at 56. The first 13, until Kuss, the climber, above 53.
They are two insects. Ganna, who wins the time trial and turns around the World Cup classification in which he lost the rainbow jersey to the insolent Belgian who rounds towards the Pinar de Antequera like a ball without edges on the bicycle, and the thin thickness of His body, 1.71 meters, 61 kilos, 400 watts, becomes a small and fast car that, passing the cinema, Rex has Mikel Landa in sight and laps him, and he leaves two minutes later, when passing in front of the portal of Miguel Delibes’ house, 600 meters from the finish line. Evenepoel, bare hands, an executioner on his head under the replicant visor helmet, fights with Ganna for the stage victory. He loses by 16s. He fights with four others for the final victory, for the Vuelta. He doesn’t win either. He remains in no man’s land. One, the one that hurts the most, Primoz Roglic, has only been ahead by 20s, which in the general standings is 27s. He has the other three further away – Jonas Vingegaard, black gloves, is shipwrecked on a route that goes against his nature, and is 1m 13s away; Juan Ayuso, 1m 16s, Enric Mas, 1m 41s–, distances that would be safe if the situation were not deviled by team play, as the brave climber Sepp Kuss reminds him, elongated turtleneck over the handlebars, little pedaling graceful on the goat, losing the bird-like lightness with which it moves on the slopes, which defends the leader’s red jersey, and continues in red for another day.
There are three Jumbo strong in the mountains. The mountain arrives. The high mountain. The one with long and repeated ports, of 40 minutes and more, the one that Vingegaard likes, as he destroyed Pogacar there two Tours in a row, and the Aubisque and the Tourmalet arrive on Friday, and on Saturday Larrau and Belagua. “We will isolate Evenepoel, which does not have such good mountain equipment,” warns Kuss. “And we’ll see what happens.” There are three from the UAE too, Soler, Ayuso and Almeida. And Mas is just him, the only Movistar, but, like surfers, he will wait for the rise of the wave that others believe, and he will float on it.
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Source: EL PAIS