Twelve cycling moments that fascinated the members of the Kometa-Xstra
The competitive halt experienced by cycling in the context of the coronavirus pandemic and the various measures taken by the authorities to curb its spread have, in parallel, fuelled a revisionism towards many of the great recent moments in cycling in the print media and especially on television. Repositioning of stages, one-day races, three-week stages, semi-classical races, monuments, which have allowed to refresh competitive moments. A praise to the vintage. The television was not present regularly and firmly until the eighties of the 20th century, so these last four decades are the great protagonists of these recoveries.
Cycling is always an advance, such is its nature, such is the consequence of the chain of riding in a specific geographical scenario and with the aim of doing it in the shortest time possible. But its history is already dense and centennial. And it feeds a huge cycling culture. Within the framework of this revisionism, aware of the youth of the members of a team that has its veteran in the 24 years of Diego Pablo Sevilla, we wanted to be interested in the moments that, as spectators, marked them in one way or another or simply called their attention. Most of these episodes are recent. And there are even a couple that go straight back to last season.
Daniel Viegas (Portugal).
“The day that impressed me the most was the 17th stage of the 2010 Tour de France, possibly the first time that I watched a whole stage on television, from the start to the finish at the Col du Tourmalet. It was also the day I wanted to make a career in road cycling. I was a mountain biker at the time. All the atmosphere that was in the accounts of the Tourmalet, the suffering of Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck to win the stage… Without a doubt it was a key moment for me. That’s why being in Alberto’s team also means a lot, because he was one of the riders who made me start competing in this sport”.
Riccardo Verza (Italy).
“I have two very clear memories that have fascinated me. The first one, when I was a child, was being in the final stage of the Monte Zoncolan of the Giro d’Italia 2007. There were so many people. It was a stadium in the middle of nature. And for the first time I got to see Andy Schleck, my favourite rider at the time. The second memory is on television, and it is the replay of the stage with the final at Monte Campione of the 1982 Giro: there was my father, working for Francesco Moser”.
Giacomo Garavaglia (Italy).
“I have always been fascinated by those races whose overall classification has been turned upside down in recent days. In this sense, I have great memories of the 2014 Tirreno-Adriático race, when Alberto Contador managed to take the blue jersey from the leader Michal Kwiatkowski with an attack on the penultimate climb of the day, 40 kilometres from the finish line. I was impressed by the difference he managed to get out of all his opponents, how he got rid of the day’s runners and how he had the strength to get away from the few remaining on the final climb. I also have great memories of the Giro d’Italia that Chris Froome won. His attack on the Colle de la Finestre was deadly. It’s true that he conquered the Giro in a more ‘studied’ way, but with an attack of great courage, head and legs”.
Diego Pablo Sevilla (Spain).
“I always emphasize the same, but it is the first memory I have of watching cycling on television: the Courchevel stage of the 2005 Tour de France. I remember perfectly that I was on the home show jumping, sitting on the ground. I was amazed how Alejandro Valverde won that stage. The truth is that it was there that I became so fond of watching cycling on TV as well as Valverde. I also remember with great enthusiasm the world championship won by Alejandro Valverde or the 2019 Amstel Gold Race won by Van der Poel. I saw both of them with Victor Aguado and in the last kilometer we were excited with what we were seeing. But if I have to emphasize only one moment, it is clearly that victory of Alejandro in the Tour”.
Erik Fetter (Hungary).
“The 2019 Amstel Gold Race, when Mathieu van der Poel beat the whole cycling universe. I saw him again a few weeks ago on Eurosport and I still can’t believe what he did. Leading a small platoon on his own for the last kilometre because he wanted to get his hands on the three top riders leading the race. And after catching them, to be able to beat them with some ease. It was a unique moment for me, a moment of madness”.
Sergio García (Spain).
“I was most impressed by Remco Evenepoel’s victory in the Clásica de San Sebastián last year. With his age, his physique and so on, he impressed me when he attacked twenty kilometers from the end, or so. And how he left with Tom Sjukins from Trek and they rolled at full speed. There was a moment when you could see Remco calling for a relay and his running mate gave it to him as best he could, but then he came in again and put in some impressive whips. Then he left when he wanted to and so on to the finish line. It was a question of brute force. And on top of that, he had just rolled off the line a few miles earlier”.
Alejando Ropero (Spain).
“That cycling moment that is among my favourites is the victory of the British Ian Stannard in the Omloop Het Volk in 2015, his second victory in this race but a victory that came after beating three riders from the Etixx-Quick Step team: Terpstra, Boonen and Vandenbergh. It is true that the performance of the Etixx riders was not perfect, but there was Stannard’s courage. He stood up to three rivals of a high level. I was amazed. I certainly didn’t expect that resolution. For me it was one of the moments of the decade”.
Antonio Puppio (Italy).
“As a child, and as an Italian child, I have spent every month of May waiting for the Giro d’Italia. Finishing my studies to be able to see the stage, while dreaming that one day I could be there, on those roads, with those riders… Without a doubt the stage that has moved me the most has been the one of the Colle delle Finestre and Chris Froome. To see him attack so far from the finish line, with so much ground ahead, adding up every kilometer three or four seconds until he made sure of the Maglia Rosa… I couldn’t believe it”.
Márton Dina (Hungary).
“Perhaps the most special moment for me was seeing Peter Sagan, Michal Kwiatkowski and Julian Alaphilippe sprinting to win the Milan-Sanremo 2017. That race is always special, with its 300 kilometres and its climbs in the final part. You never know who’s going to get over that long distance. A sprinter can win, but so can someone who climbs well. And in 2017 you will find yourself with three of the best classical riders together, and very close to each other to the point of almost going down, in an incredible sprint… I have another, sadder moment in the 2013 World Championships, when one of my favorite riders, Joaquin Rodriguez, and Alejandro Valverde, stayed close to the victory”.
Mathias Larsen (Denmark).
“The biggest and most amazing moment I have seen was when my friend Mads Pedersen won the World Cycling Championships of Yorkshire. It was absolutely incredible to watch”.
José Antonio García (Spain).
“The moment that made me vibrate the most was counting in the Giro d’Italia 2015, in the climb to the Mortirolo when Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa were ahead. The time climb to catch them, the subsequent start… That stage was exciting for me. The previous year we had been in Bormio and one of the passes that we climbed and that impacted me the most was precisely the Mortirolo. You know first hand how hard it is and you make a composition of how fast it is going up in the race”.
Alessandro Fancellu (Italy).
“Between the two best moments of cycling that I keep in my memory I have one watched through Youtube, because I was not born, and another one that I could see in the TV broadcast. I have already spoken about the first one, the stage of the 1994 Giro d’Italia that ended in Aprica and in which Marco Pantani won. The second is Tom Boonen’s last victory at Paris-Roubaix in 2012. Boonen has always been a rider that I liked very much”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)
? Atila Madrona