We had a great time in Gijon (small spanish city in the middle of the atlantic coast) last weekend. Extreme cycling, good old friends and new ones, good food, a beautiful context and real party. A “Pipa” doesn't need much more than this to reach happiness.
For this trip we formed an alliance with Legor Team. Mattia Paganotti (Mr Legor), John Taki Theodoracopulos and myself (Ortu), certainly a perfect team to spend a great time. According to the plans made after drinking some glasses of wine, we expected to fill up the podium but this didn't turn out quite well…
The meeting is in Bilbao, we pack everything and we make our way to Gijon. It's hot outside and the air condition of the old Legor team car makes more noise than fresh air. Adding the radio broadcast of a flat vuelta stage in foreign (spanish) language for most of us… makes the perfect scenario for a proper spanish siesta. I wake up the guys with some Lynyrd Skynyrd and we arrive to Santa Catalina Bicicletas, a cozy little bike shop in Gijon. We park the team car in front of it trying to impress some racers that are hanging around with our Legor bicycles, but almost every bicycle there is way more fancy than ours! We salute some old friends and meet some virtual friends for the first time in reality. The favorite local rider, Enol Costales, is bigger than what we thought!
A memorable thing happened on the way to the bar where we had the pre-race dinner. We asked to a cute girl for indications to reach the bar, and he knew us! -You are favorite for tomorrow's race right? I've seen you guys in internet- Thanks God. That was shocking but I believe I could get used to it if it wasn't something that happens ones in live. What follows isn't that interesting and the story doesn't end up where your imagination is going…
Good food, nice people and a little more beer than what we initially planned but still ok to sleep well. Late wake up to charge the battery and circuit reconnaissance at midday. It looks great: narrow road, tight but not dangerous turns on a very slight uphill, long straight before the finish line, no cars… Later on we'll confirm and classify it as the best fixgear criterium course we have ever raced.
A group crash during the neutralized reconnaissance lap delays the race by an hour as we have to wait for the ambulance to attend one of the guys that crashed! I just save myself from the crash riding over a rear wheel. The crash and the waiting builds up stress and people starts getting nervous. It gets very long ,like greyhounds, we can't wait to start.
Tres, dos, uno, ya! the race starts and I am in the middle of the pack as I offered my first row position to a guy that complained about this privilege. It's a fast start as always and it takes me more than a lap to get up in front, so no chance to fight for the 1st lap prime. Martucci pulls the peloton and he breaks away as I get there… actually I'm not quite sure if we ever were together on the group. He broke away somewhere at the beginning of the second lap (memories are unclear as it was the sight) and Fausto Bocchi started to pull the group to catch him. -No need to catch him man, let's keep him under control, he will just run out pedaling solo at this pace- I went. The gap grew suddenly and there wasn't much people willing to pull on the chasing group which ran out my patience and made me jump from the group until I realized that I was about to explode and risking to get the peloton riding over me. So I wait and start making people aware that we all need to give a hand, and only Enol, Taki and Bocchi seemed to agree with me. Ok so that's it, it is the four of us against Martucci (Iride Fixed Modena), and we didn't even get to see him again. Missing two laps to go, being already aware that we were racing for the 2nd place, Sam (Iride Fixed Modena), who spent the whole race right behing the pulling riders controling the race (or smoking cigarettes if you like) jumps up aiming to bring all the prizes to Modena. We hopefully got him on time. As we got into the final lap people that I hadn't seen in the whole race showed up in front as the bell went. This gives me some kind of extra energy to get up in front and control the situation. I do my bet at about 400km to go. I make a gap of 15m and just close my eyes and push when I get to the last straight, this is a russian rulette, why did I do that? Luis takes off from behind me, but luckily the finish line was faster than him and got me first. Ufff…
Where are my team mates? JT? Mattia? I suddenly see Mattia bleeding rivers from the knee and JT walking with a flat rear wheel… shit the plan didn't work out! but we'll celebrate it anyway!
And we did so when Mattia came back from the hospital. These guys from Gijon do know how to party…
Congratulation Frenk (Martucci), that was an epic victory.
Thanks to My Beautiful Parking and Santa Catalina (St Chainring) for that unforgettable race and weekend.
Thanks to Iride Fixed Modena. It was a great fun, we love you guys. (Martucci a little less…)
Thanks to Paolo Martelli for the professional pictures on the album bellow
Don't miss it next year
More pictures soon