Saturday, September 11, 2010

Antón out

As you'll know by now, Igor Antón has sadly crashed out of the Vuelta. The overall leader allegedly touched wheels with team-mate Egoi Martínez a kilometre or so away from the start of the last climb, in the process causing a massive pile-up and taking with him a whole host of riders. Igor looked terrible and has later been diagnosed with a broken elbow. Egoi purportedly suffered a broken collarbone. The duo were taken to the Cruces hospital in Bilbao by team heads Madariaga and Galdeano straight away, with Purito Rodríguez going on to take stage honours while Nibali donned the red jersey left vacant by Igor's abandonment. Obviously a massive blow for Igor, the team and us fans alike. Life's a bitch, huh? I can't believe this has happened again - anyone remembering a similar incident two years back going down the Cordal? I'm lost for words really. Amazingly, the team posted a message on their website from Igor himself shortly after being taken away from the race, a message in which Igor puts on an admirably brave face. Rather than whining and complaining and feeling sorry for himself, to his great credit he preferred to remain philosophical about the whole thing, saying: "I'll take with me the fact that I've enjoyed 14 happy days and lived the dream. I've won two beautiful stages, I've been the leader for a few days, and I'v showed that I can aspire to win a Grand Tour once. I'll come back with the intention to win this race. I'm staying serene. When things were great, I stayed calm and with my feet firmly placed on the ground. Now that the situation has taken an unexpected turn, I'll stay true to that philosophy. I've experienced a few let-downs in my life and I know how to handle them. I want to send a message of spirit to my team-mates. They're doing a great Vuelta and I hope they'll continue that way. The only thing I know is that I'll be stronger in 2011."

6 comments:

arnout said...

Man, even I am feeling bad and still he's upbeat.

Yeah, this is 2008 revisited. I kind of expect a lost 2011 as well.

Luckily he has those stage wins in the bag, that is really something now, especially for himself. At least he proved to the world that there's a new Basque world class climber (if he didn't do that already). But the Vuelta 2010 will always be a "Could have been" moment.

Magnus said...

For sure. Not the right moment perhaps to discuss this, but is it all accidental and unlucky? Why is it that Euskaltel riders always seem to crash? There must be something to their reputation as clumsy and bad bike handlers. What do you guys think?

arnout said...

Anton is a renowned bad bike handler, it seems he just cannot move around in the peloton. More or less same story for Txurruka. Koldo Fernandez of course built a reputation in sprint finishes.

The rest of the squad is oke I guess. Samu Sanchez is of course very good.

But it is definitely something to look into. Maybe more for the feeder teams than for the actual squad. I mean, cycling is very popular in the Basque country and still bike handling is a problem. Bike handling should be improved on a young age.

Although it is of course part feeling as well. I mean, Anton has been on a bike more than off a bike, but still he even looks clumsy on a bike in descents or in a nervous peloton.

racejunkie said...

I'm crushed. Perhaps the riders are so focused on excelling by themselves or with just a few rivals in the climbs that they lack the consistent awareness of the peloton around them that they need. I'm also reading that Igor may have hit a pothole. What a shame--if Rodriguez or Nibali win the overall, it would have been nice to know Igor's crash didn't allow it to happen.

bike master said...

this is a most unfortunate exit from the race for Anton. i have to agree with Arnout as far as how the race outcome will be viewed in the historical perspective.
from the highest of pedestals to the depths of despair- and yes, Euskatel seems to have far more than their fair share of this sort of thing.
but that is exactly why i love the sport of cycling so much and why i am such a fan of the Euskatel. they ride with great passion, and Anton shows much dignity in what must be a very dark time (all talk or fact of crappy bike handling skills aside).

this latest "incident" reminds me so much of when the great Iban Mayo struggled to finish on le Plateau de Beille in 2004, and again in front of so many thousands of Basque fans. i was there, on the roadside with my wife, on the holiday of a lifetime.
we had climbed Col de la Port that morning and then later rode up as far on le Plateau as we could before the gendarmes stopped us.
i had been hoping that Iban would be on form to take the win on this stage and put a somewhat more "human" perspective on le Tour... but as we all know, that win was not to be.
but he certainly did demonstrate the human perspective, didn't he?

i was upset at the time that a very large Basque fan in a Euskatel shirt had leaped out in front of me as i attempted to photograph Iban as he passed and cheer him on.
later, i realized that i was much happier remembering that moment just as it happened, but not getting the image of Iban- only the fat guy's back as he was jumping up and down in excitement. Iban was so broken, absolutely crushed as he made his way up that mountain.

everything about Euskatel and their mad fans seems so over the top, crazy... something one learn's about in the truest sense only by being there and actually seeing it at least once- and not on the television.
it made a believer out of me. (with apologies for the long-winded comment as well)

bike master said...

this is a most unfortunate exit from the race for Anton. i have to agree with Arnout as far as how the race outcome will be viewed in the historical perspective.
from the highest of pedestals to the depths of despair- and yes, Euskatel seems to have far more than their fair share of this sort of thing.
but that is exactly why i love the sport of cycling so much and why i am such a fan of the Euskatel. they ride with great passion, and Anton shows much dignity in what must be a very dark time (all talk or fact of crappy bike handling skills aside).

this latest "incident" reminds me so much of when the great Iban Mayo struggled to finish on le Plateau de Beille in 2004, and again in front of so many thousands of Basque fans. i was there, on the roadside with my wife, on the holiday of a lifetime.
we had climbed Col de la Port that morning and then later rode up as far on le Plateau as we could before the gendarmes stopped us.
i had been hoping that Iban would be on form to take the win on this stage and put a somewhat more "human" perspective on le Tour... but as we all know, that win was not to be.
but he certainly did demonstrate the human perspective, didn't he?

i was upset at the time that a very large Basque fan in a Euskatel shirt had leaped out in front of me as i attempted to photograph Iban as he passed and cheer him on.
later, i realized that i was much happier remembering that moment just as it happened, but not getting the image of Iban- only the fat guy's back as he was jumping up and down in excitement. Iban was so broken, absolutely crushed as he made his way up that mountain.

everything about Euskatel and their mad fans seems so over the top, crazy... something one learn's about in the truest sense only by being there and actually seeing it at least once- and not on the television.
it made a believer out of me. (with apologies for the long-winded comment as well)

 

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