Friday, December 8, 2023

With Concha Piquer’s trunk on his back

Concha Piquer (1906-1990) was not a cyclist but one of the most important artists of the last century, who carried the copla in her immense trunks while she moved around half the world. At a time when people in Spain did not travel like they do now, without low cost flights and without platforms where you can get a hotel minutes before occupying the room, the myth of Piquer’s trunks applied to anyone who traveled beyond the summer visit to their hometown.

He trunk of a car Lap Whether it is a fan’s or a team’s, it is filled with suitcases and is often a refuge for bags, previously plastic and now cloth, with dirty clothes, because washing them becomes a milestone.

Many years ago, when none of the participants in the race had been born and their parents, with some rare exception, were kids, the runners arrived at their boarding room and They washed their own competition clothes in the bathroom. The windows of the room, the balcony or the terrace, if there were any, became a kind of drying rack for ‘jerseys’ and ‘coulotes’ that dried without problems when the night was warm.

open suitcases

Now tell a runner that they must wash their clothes by hand, although there are some cyclists who have the habit of not wanting their clothes to go to one of the washing machines installed on the team buses. Tadej PogacarFor example, you want one of your masseuses to take care of it.

The worst happens when time changes suddenly and almost without warning. The accredited car parks installed in the finish area of ​​the stages are filled with open suitcases on the ground where the help of a raincoat or shorts is sought, if the change is from cold to heat.

The heat of the masseuses

The cyclists each have their suitcase, the runners trunk, which they find perfectly placed by the masseuses in the room that corresponds to them at each stage. The masseuses are something like that with the adoptive parents of the cyclists in the Vuelta. They confess sorrows and joys to them, and not just from the race, before they fall half asleep on the stretcher while the assistant tries to recover their muscles for the next day’s exercise.

The runners’ suitcases are grouped together with the directors’ suitcases and placed in the mechanic truck who travels with his trunks from one hotel to another without going through the cycle route, hunting for the fast path that marks the highway on duty.

But the cars are filled with bags, with the backpacks cyclists, with the refrigerators full of bottles, with boxes of bars and gels, which are distributed among the cyclists when one of the runners falls behind and goes down to the car. The custom is even being lost that it is the gregarious, once domestic, person who is used in this function because now, if he approaches the car, the leader does not mind wearing clothes when it comes to refreshing his companions.

Three weeks of movement

The Piquer trunks They gather every morning in the hotels occupied by the members of the organization; One of his colleagues, the person in charge of the corresponding van, places them inside the vehicle to go like the equipment truck from hotel to hotel and I shoot because it’s my turn.

And so every day, for three weeks. If you ask the assistants of a team they will always answer that they prefer to do extra kilometers and stay several nights in the same hotel than to move from one establishment to another with the challenge of doing more kilometers than the mythical trunk. Concha Piquer.


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