So long waiting for victories and now it seems that the victories grow in the Tour de France as in an autumn forest graced by mushrooms. Bingen Fernandez, director of Cofidis, was co-pilot and was hoarse to encourage Ion Izagirre. He yelled at him in Basque, and in Basque he gives him the instructions so that the rivals don’t find out. Five years waiting for a Spanish triumph and now, with Basque legs, two have arrived practically in a row. The never seen. To re-train the hands, so that they refresh themselves counting successes and not failures.
One day, in one of his books or plays written by this philosopher-turned-cyclist named Guillaume Martin, he will tell how he became the stopper behind his teammate Izagirre, in which he dulled the eight riders’ shine and intensity. who were with Izagirre and to those who had to be discouraged so that it would not occur to them to catch this 34-year-old Gipuzkoan runner, hardened in a thousand battles, one of those who work best in spring stage races and the one he had already achieved before his triumph between Beaujolais vineyards triumphs in the Tour, the Tour and the Giro, the elite club of which a short but exclusive club of classy cyclists is a part.
He won in Morzine, in 2016, where the Tour arrives this Saturday, and just like seven years ago after going up and down the Joux Plaine, that day under a terrifying rain. He did it in the Giro in 2012 and in the Vuelta, in Formigal and in 2020, the day that the Aragonese ski resort replaced the Tourmaletclosed due to covid.
The hour of the Grand Colombier
It was not an easy day because from the start he ran with the knife between his teeth and because Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar seemed unwilling to reserve strength for this Friday’s battle in the Grand Colombier. And when the good leak was formed there Ion appeared, a tough guy, who supports on a bike from a burning frying pan to the universal deluge. Veteran runner who understood that he had to attack on the Croix Rosier, the last port of the day with his back protected by Martinand with 31 kilometers to go, given his decision, his power and his courage, it never seemed that victory
He was even able to recreate himself, enjoy the public and remember his small Gipuzkoan town, a village rather, Ormaiztegi1,200 inhabitants, famous town because there before Ion and Gorka Izagirrethe other cyclist brother who runs the Tour with Movistar, was born Tomas de Zumalacárreguithe leader of the first Carlist war, the one who did not want a queen because she was a woman.
If first a Biscayan named bilbao hair, then a Gipuzkoan has done it. “It is a Basque Tour – he said after the victory – because we left home and because we are the two who have achieved victories from home. I started from afar and I was able to hold on ”, he told it in Spanish and French, because French is his team, although the directors are Basque like him. He yelled, hugged himself and even cried, because sometimes, like what happened to him, Ion, tears are also of joy. “Let the party continue,” she said and left.