‘Pelotón Hogar’: Cycling is a matter of the heart | Sports


Home Platoon

Cycling is feeling and not epic, small beings with big dreams and a home called the peloton from which they feel the nostalgia of the absent when they are far away, and sometimes the rage of those who cannot escape, the pain, and the desire to ride a bicycle, and Paul Fournel, a sensitive writer, wants to live with them.

Like Tim Krabbé, the Dutchman who created the very famous The cyclist, Fournel (76 years old, French from Saint Étienne, where at the beginning of the last century arms factories began manufacturing bicycles) writes about cycling with lyrical simplicity and delirium. Thus armed he entered the mist of the universe of Jacques Anquetil, the most admirable of the great champions, so unique (The solitude of Anquetil, Contra, 2017), so much love awakens; and, even more inspired, or so it seems, perhaps because poetry and landscape, the wind, are increasingly missed in a sport kidnapped by technologists and bigdatawrote in 2022 Peloton Maison, a collection of 45 short stories, very short, two, three pages each, that Marcos Pereda has just translated into Spanish for the publishing house Libros de Ruta to publish with the title Home Platoon.

As if each story was born from a doubt about himself, Fournel, his magic, writes in the first person and is 45 different cyclists, and always the same. She is a survivor of the whip, a furious runner, a filiform climber, a flamenco percherón, a lead-ass sprinter, always a member of the peloton that curls up and stretches, accelerates and breaks and recomposes itself to the rhythm of both the wind, the momentum of the better, of the honking from the directors’ cars, of their shouts through the earpiece, as well as of the class and power relations that form its fabric, the plot and its underside.

The platoon, one finally discovers, home, is an illusion that only fades when, possessed by a superior force, the smells of the forest, the humid earth on the first day of spring, the road junctions of the town where he was born and grew up, the paths of childhood, one morning of training, the cyclist forgets for a moment the computer data, hands up on the handlebars he puts the small chainring to pedal fast and move slowly, and, dazzled by the memory, he puts foot to ground.

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