By CAPosts 08 April, 2021 - 11:58am
Ion Izagirre and Pello Bilbao, the first two at the Hondarribia goal, speak in Basque, seconds after the victory of the first was confirmed. "Now I find out, kid," says Ion. "I've passed you after the finish line," Pello replies, "congratulations." The triumph of the day has already been clear between the two protagonists. It remains to unravel the script of the stage, because the two Basque cyclists have disputed the ephemeral glory of the day together with four other riders: McNulty, Vingegaard, Buchmann and Chaves. They are not extras; They are closer to being figures, and nobody can explain how they have been able to avoid the surveillance of the favorites. Cycling has reasons that reason does not understand, no matter how many laps the pedals are given
797 very fun kilometers for Pogacar and Roglic Roglic distance to Pogacar
They are the ones that cause what seemed like a duel between Roglic and Pogacar to blur and other unexpected protagonists appear, especially after the Slovenian couple marked territory in the first three stages. But the fourth arrives and the two cyclists who dominate, become entangled in mutual surveillance, and the secondary of the Jumbo and the UAE take flight. Or maybe it is a duel between Roglic and Pogacar and the trees do not allow the forest to be seen. There are twenty seconds between the two in favor of the first and the stage of Arrate is still ahead, the hardest of the race, in which perhaps they intend, one and the other, to consolidate their dominance. It may happen that, blind to any circumstance other than their rivalry, it happens as in Hondarribia and they are overtaken to the left or to the right.
In Erlaitz, after the hardest ramps, when the cyclists head towards the sea and the border, Roglic and Pogacar travel in an armchair, and then it occurs to Esteban Chaves to take the lead and accelerate. Pello Bilbao appears at his wheel, and a while later, the other four protagonists of the stage. Pogacar lets McNulty do, who is very close in the general standings and may be a viable alternative, but it is difficult to understand the movement of Vingegaard, Roglic's partner, who does not look back and also heads towards Hondarribia, forgetting domestic chores. Or maybe obeying orders, who knows
Nobody moves behind. Landa has already done it on the ascent and now he has Bilbao in front of him. Only Alejandro Valverde rebels a little, to activate the speed in the descent, but without continuity. Roglic looks and is silent, he leads another teammate who does not pull him. Pogacar, like his compatriot, look and shut up. It is enough for him to have McNulty in front of him, so laziness settles in the group and the differences increase. It was a stage in which there were no great expectations, except in the landscapes, and that suddenly marks the destiny of Itzulia.
They don't stop in front, behind yes, because the group is Pancho Villa's army, or it seems so because of the attitude of its components. The final stretch arrives, Izagirre beats Bilbao by a quarter wheel, he learns of his victory a couple of minutes later and celebrates it with his teammates, while the General takes a turn. Roglic loses the yellow, which passes to McNulty; Vingegaard is third and Pello Bilbao fourth. The secondary school revolution has triumphed. We will have to wait to know if the mutual surveillance between Pogacar and Roglic benefits them or an unexpected actor.