Friday, 10 April 2009

Sunday Respect

The task must be daunting for some, exhilarating for others.

52.9 km of pavé.

You may be the best in your town, city, region or country, but when it comes to the cobbles they show little interest, or respect for your previous riding achievements. Neither do your fellow competitors who've been here before and are willing to put you to the sword to achieve a final desperate victory in the velodrome.

They came barrelling down hill towards us. To call it a hill is a misnomer, a gentle gradient more like, this race is big gear from start to finish, a drag race over a surface used by tractors. Their drivetrains had now a covering of dust that made even the best maintained chain sound like a Wheezing old man. There was a tangible sense of fear as they flew past us, eyes wide, stressful expressions from exertion and concentration. Riders on the fringes of the peleton try to seek the thin dirt trail to the side of the pave, hoping not to have to avoid an unseen obstacle at great speed. Bidons are jostled from their places of safety, some flying harmlessly to the side , whilst others explode upon impact. I'm covered in water from one such explosion, at one time in history this would have been blood.

BMC have a team of riders fresh to the Secteurs. I feel theirs will be a rude awakening.

This race is hard and this clip is an ultimate example of it's brutality.

Watch it with the sound turned on.

Respect Sunday.