Vendrame wins the Giro d’Italia side party

Egan Bernal and his Ineos pull the squad through the crowd as they leave Florence.

In Colombia, some work so that their cycling, the sport of the people, is part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. Tuscany, the roads of memory through which the splendid Giro passed yesterday, would also have reasons to be so. By the alternative route between Piazza del Campo de Siena, where carbon and titanium, space, atomic bikes replace the horses in their canopies, and the town of Bagno di Romagna, where the butcher who cooks piadinas says it is mandatory consume toscoromañolo ham, and does not give up in its efforts until it is nailed to the consumer, a section of asphalt, 38 kilometers, takes the followers of the Giro d’Italia from Arezzo de la Life is beautiful, to Sansepolcro, and the memory leads the Spaniards to the time trial between the two great Tuscan beauties that Miguel Indurain won in pink in 1992. And where was the stage, a long stage of eternal escape, where the Giro continues its task of wear and tear of wills and bones, and forces, they spoke of Gino Bartali, Alfredo Martini, and Vincenzo Nibali spoke. And the supporting actors organized their party.

It was won by Andrea Vendrame, an Italian with a French soul, who had never won anything at the Giro and cried at the finish, excited, a dream. More than 200 kilometers, almost six hours, 4,000 meters of positive elevation gain, a pure carousel of ups and downs through the wildest Tuscan hills. Egan Bernal, always in pink, always leading the pack, after his Puccio, after his Ganna, after his Moscon, his Castroviejo or his Narváez, describes it, without further ado, as a day of high energy consumption in which it made no sense do nothing, go ahead with your exterminating tactic. “Spending energy on days like this makes no sense. We come with the fatigue of Montalcino, we live in waiting for the Zoncolan, on Saturday ”, says the Colombian that everyone is afraid of. “If you have the means to do something, you wait for the Zoncolan.”

Vincenzo Nibali does not wait. Nibali, with his wrist broken on April 14, attacks where he likes best, where few dare to follow him, in the last descent. It is the passage of Carnaio (of the Carnage), whose name alone gives chills, and four drops of rain have soaked it. The Sicilian launches without looking back and Egan, from the head of the squad, a pink light blesses him. “We are all free to risk where we want,” the Colombian explains later. “Nibali has taken a risk and has won 7s. I have not wanted ”.

Italy is inflamed with the gesture of his idol that proclaims not that he is alive (4m 4s behind Egan in the general), but that he is a warrior, that he has regained his will, that he is the fighter, the indomitable, as he was, more than anyone, Gino Bartali, born 107 years ago in Ponte a Ema, on the outskirts of Florence, and that is where the stage passes. And on the roads of the stage the iron Tuscan was trained, which, during the war, in 1943, stretched to Assisi, almost 200 kilometers, where a clandestine printing press produced false documents for the persecuted Jews, and with them he filled the tube of his bicycle to take them to the bishop of Florence, who was in charge of making them reach the needy. Gino Bartali is remembered, and it is remembered how his victory in the 48 Tour served to unite in its veneration a divided country, on the brink of civil war after the attack against the communist leader Palmiro Togliatti, and Alfredo Martini is remembered , cyclist, communist, national coach of the best cyclist Italy, born 100 years ago in Sesto Florentino (kilometer 75 of the endless stage), and Egan tells Italian journalists that they ask him to take a position, to speak, about the conflict Colombian, that he only speaks with the bicycle, as Bartali would do, who only seeks to give joy and hope to the people of Colombia, and Nibali, who fulfills his duty of memory towards those who have made cycling the sport of cycling in Italy. people, he honors them in his own way. And the fans, who know the value of gestures, who admire the altruism of fantasy, applaud the injured Sicilian who is seen in the Giro de Egan, intangible heritage in Colombia, of course, and also in Italy.

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