Monday, July 21, 2008

No Sunday for Old Men.

I guess this is what I was trying to avoid - here we can see the result of Oscar Pereiro's chute while descending the Col D'Agnel over at the border of France and Italy, where gravity is particularly severe.
One trip to the hospital and a broken arm later, Pereiro's '08 Tour was history; it's too bad, he really had been doing quite well in the service of Alejandro Valverde's current bid for this year's race. Better, I'd say, than the Green Bullet himself, who's been a bit of a disappointment to Spain and likely to poor old Oscar too.
But life is full of disappointments, as readers of Hunter S. Thompson would agree. I spent Sunday watching the epic struggle that was Stage 15, in rain, cold, and heat across the Franco-Italian Alps and I did so because it was raining like hell, not just there but here too.
It poured from about midnight, continuously into the morning when I awoke at 5am to eat, dress, and catch the commuter train to my O-Cup race in a valley at the north end of Burlington. I went nowhere. The thought of that course, one vast puddle in the valley low and clay muddy wet on the flat, laid waste to my motivation. Why kill yourself getting to a race, already soaking wet, only to end up on your ass in some ditch? It's been two races and two crashes and frankly I wasn't looking to pay $75 for a third. Had I not pre-ridden the racecourse the Friday before, perhaps I would have thrown caution to the wind, but I knew too much. The longish descent into the left-right-left at the bottom would be a hydroplane I for one had no ambition to sail on, vertebrae first.
So the day was spent inside increasingly comatose until the darkness of my living room paralyzed me completely. By three p.m. I couldn't do anything but lay on the wood floor, wondering what was happening to me. At last it was clear: caffeine withdrawal had combined with the continual wet to leave me in a state of hideous collapse. What the hell kind of summer was this? And somewhere in the Italian Alps, Oscar Pereiro had to be wondering the same.

No comments: