05/16/2021 at 6:20 PM CEST
The Giro is a race where the duels between two riders are part of the cycling anthology; maybe much more than on the Tour. History recalls the struggles between Costante Girardengo Y Alfredo Binda, and this with Learco War, the favorite of fascism. Then Italy was divided between Fausto Coppi Y Gino Bartali; came later Charly gaul to fight with Jacques anquetil, Y Eddy merckx, first with Felice gimondi and then with Jose Manuel Fountain. It happened before Miguel Indurain defeat Claudio Chiappucci Y Alberto counter to Fabio Aru with the sacrifice of the yearned for Mikel Landa. And this 2021 is preparing to live the challenge whether in the sun, with rain, on the pavement or unpaved terrain, like today, between Egan bernal and Remco Evenepoel.
Barely 15 seconds separate the Colombian cyclist, the new ‘pink jersey’, and the Belgian prodigy in the general classification. But duels are won battle by battle, with perseverance and above all by showing the opponent, even for only 10 seconds, like yesterday, who is the strongest.
Girardengo refused to abdicate to the young man Binda in the 20s of the last century. But he had to surrender, as he later did Bartali in the name of Coppi. Y Merckx he was able to beat all of them because the sun never set to the beat of his pedals. Chiappucci always saw the butt of Indurain and Contador, suffering and fighting, could with his opponents when he won the last of his Giros, in 2015.
And today, Bernal has given a blow of authority over Evenepoel. It was nothing definitive, it would only have two weeks on the horizon. In time it was only a few seconds, but in the morale of the Belgian runner? The triumph in the Giro is cemented by actions such as the view over the land of Campo Felice. The organization wanted to reach a spot without asphalt. It showed Italian television, while the stage was consumed between leaks, the steamrollers compacting the earth so that the wheels of bikes prepared for other territories would not sink. And they prayed, they did pray, because if the flood had fallen it would have been impossible to pedal without cement in sight and there would have been no choice but to move the goal to a lower place, and more bland, of course.
It is there where Bernal has given that blow of authority. Barely half a kilometer, why waste it earlier? It was there that Bernal has put the accents to the race, where he got up from the saddle to demonstrate, especially to Evenepoel, who was going for the stage he won, for the ‘pink jersey’, which he wore and to draw attention to his Belgian opponent who, perhaps, badly positioned or somewhat tired, there will always be doubt, he reacted a little late, but enough so that the fury of the Colombian cyclist did not become a waste of time serious enough to make him think that victory was beginning to be an impossible challenge.
Nothing is impossible
But impossible there is nothing even for Bernal not even for Evenepoel, both willing to fight a duel, so that their names are part of that history of battles that the greatest of the race have written since the Giro was created around 1909, when cyclists only received criticism from all sides of society Italian and, evidently, of the Church that believed that young people were wasting their time riding bicycles.
However, today, Bernal has offered an image of cycling of enormous height when he launched a sprint 500 meters from the goal, on stones and dirt, when he surpassed the escapees (Koen Bouwman Y Geoffrey bouchard), to whom he almost ripped the advertising stickers from their ‘jerseys’, and when he crossed the finish line in a rage because he knew that every second he won had its weight in gold.
Behind, far from surrendering, the white ‘jersey’ of Evenepoel, the one who was the best young man in the race and who also yielded to Bernal, began to react and was driven enough so that the Colombian’s goal was more psychological than numerical.
And there they are as first and second overall, positions that they will maintain tomorrow, except for a capital surprise, to rest tomorrow and start preparing, starting on Wednesday, the second part of an Italian round to which the Colombian and Belgian aspire, but Without forgetting, far from it, other opponents, who seem to be missing, but who in the second line of action are lurking and separated from the leading duo for a few seconds.
There is a Russian named Aleksandr Vlasov, located just 21 seconds from Bernal. There arises Giulio Ciccone, who runs with all the affection of the ‘tifosi’ because every day that passes it is evident that Vincenzo Nibali he seems too old to aim for another victory in Milan. But they must not forget Hugh carthy (to 44 seconds), to Dan Martin (to 51), to Simon Yates (to 55) and up to Marc Soler Y Romain bardet, both at 1.20 minutes from the ‘pink jersey’. And stop counting, because from there only those who are in the Giro will demonstrate to help or to catch a stage with the permission of the ruling class.