“Ah, Gorizia, you are cursed ”, sing anarchists and antimilitarists since in a battle of World War I in the northeastern confines of the Peninsula between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire 100,000 soldiers died for nothing, half and half of each army, and their piled up bones are a monument, and when the hail of the The black sky and the waterspout that hits and bathes the squad and the escapees, and makes the streets skating rinks, the “cursed Gorizia” to the martyr city could be sung by all the cyclists, condemned to participate in an apparently bloodless battle , and one only raises his arm in Piazza Vittoria, next to the Neptune fountain.
He is Belgian, his name is Victor Campenaerts, he defies the puddles and curves insane with the determination of a tightrope walker on Scaramuzza Street, who gives him ideas; is known for his uncontrollable temper, his nerves, his misanthropy at times, which leads him to lock himself up for months in Namibia to prepare a record of the hour he leaves in 55,089 kilometers in Auguascalientes (Mexico), for the agonizing way with which he interprets the time trials, always at the limit of effort. He has rehearsed the sprints, he explains, and gives the Qhubeka the third stage victory, after Schmid in Montalcino and Nizzolo in Verona.
Perhaps he will bless the already reunited Gorizia who opens her arms to him, a symbol before the worst that human beings can fall into in so many wars, a symbol now of how beautiful a world without borders can be, and the squad, and the fugitives, go through the Transalpina square, and those who go to the left are in Slovenia, Nova Gorica is called, and those on the right of the same road, in Italy, Gorizia, because the border line passes through 17 years was a wall, more durable than the one in Berlin, and now, since 2004, a circle and a line in which tourists are photographed, one foot in each country, on one side and the other the same young people, the same joy , and, although theirs are not there, the Roglic and Pogacar of the neighbors, it is the same Giro that steps on two countries at the same time, and begins next to the immense beaches of Grado, north of Venice, with a gale and airs of massacre, noise of sirens, screams of 35 cyclists fallen at kilometer two, at full speed, with the v asshole. The race stops for half an hour, the time it takes for ambulances to transport the injured to hospitals and return empty to follow the platoon.
Four retire. One is the German Buchmann, who has split his mouth. He was sixth overall. It will be possible, not a bad consolation, to stay in bed on Monday, during the dolomitic stage, which is advertised as a horror movie: 212 kilometers (that is, almost seven hours of running), 5,700 meters of positive elevation gain, three ports of great name and height, more than 2,000m, and only its name scares, Marmolada, Pordoi (Coppi top) and Giau; rain at all hours and perhaps snow above 2,000, and a dizzying end to the Olympic Cortina d’Ampezzo that perhaps makes Remco wonder why the hell he changed football, how well he did, for cycling , which generates so many traumas.
The leader, Egan Bernal, is not afraid of the cold because he relies on all modern, light and comfortable warm habits, and that his team will be able to control the day. “I will wear whatever it takes,” promises the bare-handed cyclist who is preparing for a day of pure survival, like everyone else. “And this time I will wear gloves, huh?”