In cycling there are long-, medium-, and short-term dreams, and dreams that come true, or not, instantly. When a kid starts out in juniors, he dreams of winning the Tour, or the Giro, or the Vuelta. Then the road puts everyone in their place. But in the day to day of a race, the same thing happens. How many cyclists are listening to their director’s talk on the bus and daydream about winning that day, about playing the flute? Or simply, if the plans that their boss tells them while standing, clinging to the back of the first seat, are fulfilled, while they listen in the soft armchairs of those who would not want to get up to support their behinds in an uncomfortable seat for 180 kilometers.
Between Andorra and Tarragona there were dreams in the long, medium and short term. Even dreams of an instant. Some came true, most didn’t. In the long term, it was that of Eduardo Sepúlveda, Ander Okamika and David González, devoted to a flight that almost never has a happy ending. Of course, the Argentine Sepúlveda had an easier dream to fulfill. He was wearing the mountain leader’s polka-dot T-shirt, which actually belonged to Evenepoel. He came out intending to dress her in his own right. And his aspiration was fulfilled, because his companions let the two scoring tacks, Belltall and Lilla, pass in the lead. Then he abandoned himself to the fate of the peloton, so in Tarragona he got on the podium to receive his own jersey.
Okamika and González dreamed fifty kilometers from the finish line with that almost impossible victory for the modest, like someone who falls asleep thinking about the Euromillion numbers that will get them out of poverty. But the speed of the peloton did not match his dreams.
The next to dream was the Frenchman Bryan Coquard. The arrival was ideal for him. With Gorka Gerrikagoitia, his director at Cofidis, he had established the plan for the last 500 meters, a slight ascent. His teammates collaborated on the project and escorted him to the front of the peloton, where the applicants circulate, but with less than four kilometers to go, someone made the sharpener, the wheels collided and Coquard and several of his team ended up in soil. It was a dream interrupted by an alarm clock. He arrived eight minutes after the winner, with bruises on his body.
Without French in the equation, dreams soared. Marijn van den Berg’s broke down 300 meters from the finish line. He was so powerful, so convinced of his strength, that he took the last curve too fast. He tried to rectify, but he ran into a tide of stelades and pro-independence banners.
The dream of the Colombian Sebastián Molano remained, the trump card of the UAE. With Van den Berg on the ground, he took the lead. He kicked the pedals viciously, convinced of victory. There were 200 meters left and he had no one ahead of him, but at 25 his strength ran out and then the dream of Kaden Groves, a 24-year-old Australian, came true. A few seconds before, he believed that he would not be able to achieve it and instead of looking ahead, he looked back, as if in a temporary nostalgia, which lasted as long as it took him to look straight ahead and see that, on the finish line, the Molano’s forces were faltering, and that he had the possibility of fulfilling the dream that two seconds before he had forgotten. He won, and he has already done so in the Giro y Vuelta. He will keep dreaming. With the Tour probably. Among the main ones everything remains the same, with Evenepoel leading, Mas second and the other favorites on the lookout. No one wastes too much time at the moment.
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