Ruta del Sol – Stage 3
We may never know what happened to Ion Izagirre in the Tour of Andalusia (not until we’ve looked it up) but one minute he was powering up the first stretches of roads on the Tour of Andalucia Individual Time Trial and the next he was declared retired, his carcass presumably spread lifeless across the asphalt with his mangled bike wrapped around a telegraph pole somewhere.
Watching him after the first turn you wondered if this wasn’t what he’d planned. The Spaniard was showing the courageousness that earned him his country’s time trial jersey in the first place.
The cameras caught this Evil Knievil suicide mission, riding along a cobbled street, not in the middle, but in the gutter – not uncommon on cobbled roads, but Izagirre had more to dodge that the occasional Flanders muddy ditch. Here, on what was basically a thin shopping street he road over drains, while dodging benches, lamp posts, fire hydrants, mothers, and the tape tied alongside that was supposed to warn of even trying such a thing.
It was marvelous.
Which is why his retirement suggested he might have gone too far, the romantic among us hoping he’d gone out with his head down riding over a cliff, landing on the rocks below in full aero position.
Well he’d crashed badly, just not as spectacularly as predicted – badly though, enough to leave him mummified in the team car, but in one piece.
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