Jesús Herrada prevails in the Laguna Negra in the stage of the Tour of Spain | Cycling | Sports

The Cycling Tour
Herrada crosses the Laguna Negra finish line victorious.Sprint Cycling Agency

Jesús Herrada reaches the top first and drops as soon as he crosses the last line. His masseur grabs him in his arms and there he remains, on the floor, his head thrown back as if the couple were posing for Michelangelo, perfect white teeth, ashen lips, mouth half-open, panting to the rhythm of his maddening heart. The Mercy. Life. An image worth a bland stage. Sepp Kuss is still in red. The Jumbos recover and close in on Remco Evenepoel in white. They meet for Friday at the Tourmalet. La Vuelta, then, will breathe.

The peloton goes up Padre Duero to its sources. Soria highlands. On a highway bridge, arriving at Burgo de Osma, on the shoulder, a griffon vulture from the Lobos River, nearby, is perched, motionless, astonished, clueless, defeated by so much asphalt. He doesn’t try to fly, nor does he try to walk across the road. This world is not mine, it seems to say, the thought of endangered species, nor this stupid heat, as the cyclists could also say, so old on their bikes, so modern the creaking colors of technology that disguise them . It wears brands like Ineos, Bahrain, UAE, companies, countries, that live off hydrocarbons, the fuels of hundreds of cars, helicopters, motorcycles, buses, which make any race an attack on the ecological balance. La Vuelta, the horrors and bungling of the departure from Barcelona, ​​the arrival at Montjuïc, the farce of Caravaca, the effects of storms and increasingly extreme heat, is a victim of his own work. Cycling races are not the solution against climate change, they are part of the problem, but the small peloton, the twenty-something escapees, captivates, past oak groves, junipers, and the sad image of the towers of the submerged town of La Muedra over the scarce waters from the Cuerda del Pozo reservoir, when it plunges into the shady pine forests of the hills towards the Black Lagoon with its green waters, a reflection of the pine trees that surround it, their shining tops.

Taking out the livers of his escape companions on the false plains on the way to the Urbión peaks, they are commanded by Pippo Ganna, the god of the track and time trial. The day after his poem from Valladolid at 56 per hour, the Piedmontese, generous as the lands on which he rolls, like the sober people of Soria, silent, taciturn, monosyllable dialogues, works for his partner Geraint Thomas, who is not a nobody, the Tour de France of 18, and the work for Froome always, among his pearls, which is not in his second Tour. “It is a Tour of ups and downs. More low, more on the ground, by falls, than standing”, said the Welshman, king of irony, who when he received the solidarity jersey, a symbol that is given daily to the most generous runner, smiled and He said: “It will be the only thing that wins this Tour.”

Prophetic. When Ganna finishes pounding the asphalt and tells him, all yours, go for the win, Thomas slacks off. He waits for movements from rivals to antagonize them. He feels watched. A dozen eyes fixed on his back. Nor is the Welshman so alive, that he barely reacts when Caicedo accelerates. He then he shoots at the hardest, at 13%, and gets tired in vain. He launches the sprint to Herrada, from Mota del Cuervo, La Mancha de Cuenca, steppe landscapes, not so far away, also quiet. Another Castilla, so equal. First Spanish stage victory. Third in a few laps of the Cofidis cyclist, a specialist who, at 33 years old, is still emotional, and sheds a tear when he dedicates the victory to his friend Jesús, from Mota, who died not long ago.

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