Roglic narrowly wins the queen stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico | Sports| The USA Print

Roglic, right, sprints to win on top of Sassotetto.

Roglic, right, sprints to win on top of Sassotetto.ROBERTO BETTINI (EFE)

Easy, but so tempting that it is impossible to resist, inevitable. Already in the mountains of the Marches, where the Popes were kings, you arrive at San Ginesio, a town on a hill, the town of 100 churches, say the signs, shaken by the wind of the windy March that cancels the stage in Provence from Paris-Nice and that on the Mediterranean highways force truckers to hold the wheel tight. The balcony of the Montes Sibillinos, is also San Ginesio, according to the tourist guides, foothills of the Apennines, fortune-telling caves, sibyls that when the wind asks, when the peloton passes, who will win at the Lardina fountain, the top of Sassotetto stone, 1,266 meters, 10 kilometers at 7%, snow in the ditches, eternal fog, heavy wind, queen stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico, final climb cut two kilometers, and 200 meters of altitude, because of the winds?

The sibyl goes through the list of contenders and categorizes them. All in the same drawer, climbers with long winds and little change, a lot of diesel, little turbo, a lot of caution, little risk, a lot of Hindley, Mas, Landa, Buitrago, Caruso, Tao, Kämna, Vlasov, Almeida, a calculating and fearful bunch , and very even. Her inspiration needs more toughness. The poetry of suffering and loneliness is not woven without harshness. And think about the absent, think about the fact that Tadej Pogacar is not there, the only cyclist so crazy that he is not afraid of the wind or anything, and breaks, nor is Jonas Vingegaard, who hits with the Slovenian in France and also wants to exhibit His little gram of madness, although it costs him the anger, defeats it. Having seen what has been seen, the older sibyl responds, Roglic, the hairy one, will win, and suppresses a laugh. She could have added, he’ll barely win, but he was redundant. She already knows the whole world, besides.

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Since the day in September that he left the Vuelta after hitting himself, the older Slovenian has not shaved his legs. He has not competed since then. His hair has been growing for six months now, and he doesn’t care, although he jokes that perhaps he lost so much time in the time trial (49s in 11.5 kilometers) because of the aerodynamic sin committed by not shaving. “I’ll shave when I win,” he promised and repeated at the start of Morro d’Oro. He won Thursday, Tortoretto Hills, and did not shave, because, he says, he needed wax or laser, so grown is his hair. He won, as he was clever, at Sassotetto – a watch and boulder climb, wheel and guard; Movistar accelerating at the foot; Caruso, opening the way for Landa, his partner in Bahrain, to respond to the attacks made by the ambitious, and which they did not; small acceleration of Mas without much intensity or conviction; sprint of 20 at the top: the fastest, the Slovenian, who does not lose the hop, the punch, over the years. And with the bonus he dresses in blue leader of the race of the two seas and the trident of Neptune as a prize–; will win, as is foreseeable, if Girmay, Van Aert or Van der Poel, the specialists, do not prevent it, on Saturday, another day of hills, walls and slopes of the Marches at the Osimo station and its headless, headless Roman statues , and he will win the general, of course. And perhaps more cyclists will stop shaving their legs, a custom that everyone follows and nobody knows why, for no scientific reason to support it.

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There are no ports for mountaineers in March, nor in Italy a Pogacar that breaks everything.

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