2.18.2012

Decisive moments: Volta ao Algarve and Tour of Oman

Porte The Winner
What is thrilling in a race? you know, there is a moment when you feel it is going to be decided and the way is sometimes expected sometimes surprising. Sometimes it is also crazy, like the Andy Schleck`s chain problem in TdF 2010 or Vansummeren victorious Roubaix. You watch and wait: it can happen since now in any second. Sometimes there is a break and you really want it to go to the finsh but the peloton is second by second closer till the moment they win or lose. Breakers feel the moment too: some of them give up, some others insist and are literally sucked into the arriving coloured mass. But more often there is a moment when a rider attacks. Usually you know he was going to and waited holding your breath. Ok I know people who talk to the screan inciting their champion... And when he goes... you feel thrilled and relieved. Not sure he will win, not sure nobody will follow and mayby pass him. Not sure but he is going and you can breath again.
Yesterday in Volta ao Algarve team Sky controlled the race imposing a very fast pace. Tiago Machago attacked at 1k from the top of Alto do Malhão, Porte`s reaction was powerful and final: Machago followed, couldn`t close the gap, was second with Rui Costa 3th on his wheel. Attack and conter-attack: in that moment the race has been won - and lost.
So they said:
http://www.teamsky.com/article/0,27290,24704_7528280,00.html
Team-boy: Porte “It wasn’t hard with that team. They were incredible! You don’t really want to single out one person as they were all incredible.", "It just worked like clockwork. I know in cycling it doesn’t always happen like that."
Truculent: Sky Sports Director Sean Yates: “The boys rode fantastically and everything was done to the tee. There were bodies everywhere today it was a really hard stage. It was pretty hardcore to see the damage done.
http://www.radioshacknissantrek.com/news/machado-moves-second-place-algarve
Disappointed: Machago “It was the right moment to attack. It looked good.  But then Porte came back and counter-attacked.  I have to be honest – his counterattack was too hard for me.  Porte was the only one stronger than me today, but that doesn’t give me a stage victory"
Supportive: RSNT Team director Jose Azevedo: “The timing if Tiago’s attack was perfect. If he waited a bit longer he had maybe just a little more chance to win the stage.  But this way he’s managed to put Tony Martin and Bradley Wiggins more in the background.  Those two are candidates for the overall GC. Everything will be decided in the 5th stage in the time trial.  Between Tiago, Porte, Jurgen Van Den Broeck (at 34-seconds),  Martin and Wiggins.  Honestly I give Tiago a good chance.  This race is not over yet.”
Nibali at the start Pic by Anthony McCrossan
In Tour of Oman decisive moment instead... the phone signal went down and we found ourselves blind and cut away. GRRR!! I want to thank Anthony McCrossan who has been our eyes and ears in that race. When his twitter became silent we got suddenly nuts. I don`t know how  but The Inner Ring was the first one amongh my twitter-mates to give the news Nibali won. Then Anthony was back with Velits second and in lead. We don`t know more yet
From thrilling to killing I said! when the break - including also and again BMC Martin Kohler - was over and the peloton was affording the hard last climb, news were about which team was leading, like in a bunch sprint: Katusha for Rodriguez, RSNT for Fuglsang or Andy Schleck, OPQS... You could almost see it... but without seeing it properly it is impossible to understand what is going on. Or better: what is going to happen, who is going to attack. I ignore how it happened: Nibali did what he said. No victories last year for the Shark: he was really hungy! Bravo Velits, then we wait... what else can we do?

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