tiistai 29. toukokuuta 2018

So legendary! Some say even that it's unbelievable

Picture this with your mind's eye: a former hero limps through the long battle, is losing it completely. At the very last minute, it's the cavalry! Out of the blue they ride in and help the hero crush all and every opponent, totally. In a way not seen before.

A legend has born. I found myself going over this tale again this morning when commuting to work.

On the morning of the stage 19 of Giro d' Italia 2018 every sensible tifosi predicted that the battle between the overall leaders was to take place at the final Bardonechhia climb.

As we know now, Team Sky took the lead in the beginning of the Finestre climb and turned on the turbo. As a result, only a handful of the best riders were able to follow them. Even maglia rosa Simon Yates was crushed and waned from the picture. Then, as the Tom Dumoulin, Domenico Pozzovivo &c had their hands (or legs) full with the ascend and the pace, Chris Froome was somehow able to accelerate. He made the others look like they were old ladies.

Froome kept his extraordinary pace over the top of Finestre and continued pushing solo all the 80 km to the finish, gaining an unheard-of advantage. From being 3:22 behind Yates he went on to collect a 0:40 lead over Dumoulin.

Photo linked from Daily News.
Such a cunning (and "old-style") strategy, such an epic attack, and such a monumental outcome! Consequently, Froome won the whole Giro.

Nevertheless, no matter how seismic was the magnitude of Froome's achievement, it leaves me buffled. Some commentators say that Froome's performance on stage 19 was unbelievable. Unfortunately the sports has a heavy doping history and Froome has his own salbutamol case waiting to be judged. These raise questions on the sportsmanship : how was he able to perform so high above everybody else all of a sudden?

Then again, I am happy to have it all saved on my TV digibox. This is the stage I will watch again and again next year when pushing myself up Alpe du Zwift.

PS. Check out this gorgeous gallery of photos taken during the last week of the Giro. Already the opening photo is one of its kind!

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