The Vuelta leaves in Borriana, its beach between chalets with pools, one more day the stage for the sprinters – second consecutive victory for the Australian Kaden Groves (Alpecin), who takes half a wheel away from the record holder of the hour, gigantic Filippo Ganna, who arrives late in distant progression– and like a classic cloud front it turns on Thursday towards the West, towards the Javalambre mountain range, south of Teruel capital, to collide with the Pico del Buitre Astrophysical Observatory (1,956 meters: 11 kilometers at 8%) , second arrival at the top. Second opportunity also so that, if Roglic, Vingegaard, Ayuso, Mas and company do not avoid it, the insatiable voracity of Remco Evenepoel, the punch of the leader in the last meters as he did, just as if nothing had happened, for a 6s bonus, in Nules’ flying goal. He doubles the advantage over the second, Enric Mas, to 11s. Or, perhaps, not, perhaps the Belgian boy will have a fit of lucidity and his team will allow an escape like the one that in 2019, in the previous ascension to the telescopes, gave Angel Madrazo, the Cazona sparrow, a minute of noisy and endless glory. If Evenepoel wants to unload the weight of the red jersey, a good candidate to inherit it is Lenny Martinez, third overall after the Andorran mountain.
Lenny, like Lenny Kravitz, Martinez is 20 years old and, a kid of the 21st century, many lives, and, possibly, pedaling towards the Malva-rosa beach, in the middle of the peloton, and blinded by the sun that shines splendidly on his white jersey of the best youth (on loan from the red Remco Evenepoel), their head wanders through the urban landscape when, scattered among mandarin orchards, they cross industrial estates, their curiosity fueled by the sight of old abandoned factories, tile factories, flour mills, warehouses. the industrial crisis…
In his first life, the one he led as a child with his mother near Cannes, the great hobby of the Frenchman and his crew was urbex, the adventurous exploration of dilapidated industrial buildings, possible sets for Robocop’s lair of bad guys, or so on. His second life, that of an inevitably good cyclist, was started by the young Martinez by pure immersion, when he left the south of France and its Mediterranean, to go live with his father, Miguel, who was a cyclist, and with his grandfather, Mariano, also a cyclist, and the old fans remember him in the broadcasts of the Tours of that time, his polka dot jersey as king of the mountains in ’78, and the commentator repeating, “Mariano Martinez, the Frenchman from Burgos”, remembering the capital of the Cid where he was born in 1948 and how his parents, emigrants in the 60s, when the Spanish economy was supported by emigration, had settled in Burgundy.
There, in Nevers, in the center of France, Mariano and his brother Martin, winner of a stage in the Vuelta, gave birth to a cycling dynasty, pocket-sized riders, small and fiery, born climbers. Miguel, born in 1976, was an Olympic champion in mountain bike in Sydney 2000 and briefly road cyclist with Mapei. His mother, Marie Noëlle, the rock on which the family rests, took him to the races in her car as she until recently took her grandson son Lenny (1.68m / 52 kilos) says that perhaps he has inherited the great engine ( Their maximum oxygen consumption exceeds, they say, 91 mg/kg/min, comparable to that of the greatest of the great runners) but not so much the talent as the love for their family’s bicycle, the need to live 24 hours up to date thinking about the bike, so perfectionist. “My father has transmitted the same dedication to me for the profession of cyclist,” he explained in June in L’Equipe, after winning, a pure climber, in the Mont Ventoux classic.
He had not yet turned 20 and was already beginning to be a figure, along with his contemporary Romain Gregoire, junior world champion and also in the Vuelta, in the Groupama. The team boss, Marc Madiot, as soon as he promoted them from sub 23, already announced that he would use the Vuelta as crash test (crash test) with reality to measure their value as three-week cyclists, to measure their tenacity, their recovery capacity, their coexistence with chronic fatigue. And also its shine. Fearful of family interference, like all directors, Madiot only gave him one condition, that he always keep his father and his grandfather, 74 years old, at least 10 kilometers away. “My grandfather, to be honest, gives me a lot of advice on moving in the peloton, but there are a lot of stories about how the job was done back then. And I don’t know how to train by sensations, like they did before,” says Lenny, a fanatical follower of new times, technology, watts, measured nutrition… “I always told myself that the best cyclist is the one who drank the least. I don’t know what he would say if he saw me drinking two bottles an hour, as is done now…”
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Source: EL PAIS