Roglic remains leader after the victory of the promising Lapeira | Cycling | Sports


André Darrigade takes the Itzulia podium, 94 years old, good looking, smiling. 22 stage victories in the Tour, – where he wore yellow twice –, with ten years of difference between the first and the last. 49 wins in total and a jersey rainbow They contemplate him. Born in Dax, 80 kilometers from the Cambo finish line, he was the unfortunate protagonist of a misfortune in the last stage of the French race in 1958, when in the middle of the sprint he ran over Constant Wouters, the general secretary of the Parc des Princes velodrome, who attended to the photographers and got on the track. It was a brutal crash. The cyclist recovered and took the lap of honor around the stadium; Wouters died eleven days later at the Boucicant hospital in Paris.

Darrigade, an unrepentant finisher until his retirement as a professional, greeted his compatriot Paul Lapeira at the French finish line of the Basque race, who is following in his footsteps in the difficult task of road sprinter, “although I have more opportunities when the finish is in a small group.” The Decathlon team cyclist barely had any honors as a professional, but in two weeks he has built an interesting resume with three wins, although the one in Cambo is the first in the World Tour. “I feel in a state of grace.” He beat a group of castaways, barely thirty, to the finish line.

“I sprinted to survive,” confessed leader Primoz Roglic, who joined the group. “I know it’s rare that it doesn’t rain in the Basque Country,” says the Slovenian cyclist, so sometimes, when the route is winding and the road turns into a skating rink, just not falling is enough to consider it a success. “We have been able to avoid the danger.” The other contenders for final victory also triumphed. Wet but whole, after the black cape that had been threatening hours before, unloaded in the last kilometers. Only Tao Geoghegan Hart, winner of the 2020 Giro, was distanced by a fall four kilometers from the finish line. Evenepoel, with his lieutenant Landa, Vingegaard and Ayuso entered among the first.

It was in the land of Chiquito de Cambo, the pelota player who, despite his nickname, was 1.95 meters tall, and in World War I he was asked to throw grenades against the Germans with his top hat, a Basque pelota tool similar to the of basket tip. Now it has a street in the spa town of the French Basque Country, which has two free square gables, without side walls. Joseph Apesteguy must have been a spectacle in the trenches, because on calm days he gave ball exhibitions to the American troops garrisoned in Biarritz.

From Irún to the town of Chiquito, no one threw grenades to dynamite the race. There were only blank bullets from the Azparren brothers, along with Vuillermoz and Bol, who escaped very early and were hunted when it suited the platoon. Then the promising Lapeira appeared. From Ezpeleta, still in France, the town where strings of dried peppers hang from facades and balconies, to Alsasua, in Navarra, more troop movements are expected, with the six mountain passes on the way and quite cold in the air.

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