La Vuelta: Release the Carrefour men in red

They appear as beautiful people; the purest of the pure, looking alike and raised on what must be a diet of alpine glacial water and soya beans. They’re fresh, and curiously single minded, as if programmed to detest fraternization (and probably procreation) in favour of purity, and service to a greater cause.

What do they call these super beings that live high up in the hills?

They’re called: “The people in Carrefour sponsored t-shirts who dash out at the end of mountain stages and catch exhausted riders”.

It’s all commendable stuff, if a little on the creepy side. But there they were again as one by one riders crossed the finish line at the top of the Cumbre del Sol.

Held first in what looks like a holding pen, they are released one by one, leaping out with unavoidable enthusiasm in time with the riders procession across the line. This is fine if there’s a gap, but a little dicey when three or four cross the line together. But the super beings ignore the dangers, and dash directly towards their assigned riders, grabbing them by the saddle, and relieving them of any need to peddle further.

With their single task complete, they return to their holding pen where we can only assume they are resealed in airtight containers and shipped off to wherever the next mountain finish might be. I’m guessing here, I can’t say for sure.

As for the riders, what they think is harder to fathom.

By the time they cross the line most of them are delirious anyway, having scaled a 20 per cent climb for longer than they would have liked, so probably welcome any kind of help. But then less weary riders might resent the arrival of a determined young man ready to grab his ass. It’s a fine line.

Not that these super beings stick around very long. Ironically they disappear after passing on the riders to their team’s soigneurs, usually of a body shape more familiar to the rest of us.

One day though, when sugar is banned and the shops sell only soya and mung beans, these super beings will be back, probably with powers of arrest, dressed in the same Carrefour t-shirts, and waiting for us at the finish line. They’ll take over the world.

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