The “monster” Evenepoel devours all the rivals to win the first pink jersey of the Giro d’Italia | Sports

About the continuous hissing of the spokes of the front wheel opening the wind and fighting with the comings and goings of the waves that rhythmically hit the wooden posts that support the Phoenician fishermen’s huts, called trabocchi, on the Adriatic, in the ears of Remco Evenepoel, a projectile that pedals on a green, smooth, silk road, should sing languid, almost melancholic, never a warrior, Cecilia Bartoli, “Lascia la spina, cogli la rosa”…leave the disappointments to others, time is yours, hold on tight, time is rose… The rose is Evenepoel who sets the time and all revolve around; the thorns that stick into the fingers that bleed and scream are they, the ones who want to fight against the ineluctable, against despair. Those who fail. The ones who under their astronaut suit, super aerodynamic suits more than helmets and visors like mirrors, check the speed, the watts they develop, the wind and atmospheric pressure on the handlebar computer, and say, OK, this is what I knew what could I do. It’s what I’ve done. Only Remco, his Belgian flag jersey, black, yellow, red, the master of time and disappointment, can overcome limits, he breaks them, as champions have always broken them.

The time trial is 19.6 kilometers, 21m 18s, at an average speed of 55.2 kilometers per hour, a single chainring with 60 teeth, sprockets that drop from 30 to 11 teeth, a compact and tiny body, 1.71m, which accelerates when the others cannot go any further – more than 58 per hour on average in the first 17 kilometers, those on the green path; then 2.8 kilometers uphill over stones that make the wheel jump to the castle of Ortona, and Evenepoel comes sprinting–, a power that pales before that of the giant Filippo Ganna, almost two meters of raw power, what levers, what beautiful and fluid cadence that of the record holder of the hour, who turns the bike path of the Abruzzo coast, raw nature inland, rough sea to his right, into a straight, impossible velodrome. In his field, on the flattest, Ganna, Olympic track champion, twice world time trial champion, gives up 15s, one second per kilometer; on the ascent, 7s more. Thus fell the rival for the first rose. “I’m very happy,” says a defeated Ganna, “because I’ve done the numbers I could do,” but Remco has been a monster. I can’t say anything, just tell you thumbs up!”

The rival designated for the final rose, at the Colosseum in Rome on May 28, is Primoz Roglic, a specialist in individual time trials, and he has won them in all the races, and is even an Olympic champion of the specialty, who reaches 43s. More than two seconds per kilometer. The rest is mist. “43s…. ufff, it’s a lot”, says the Belgian winner. “But you have to stay tuned. In Italy, all the stages, even those that apparently have nothing, contain danger. I’m not going to burn the team to keep the jersey. The plan is to spend as little as possible until the next time trial [35 kilómetros en Cesena, el domingo 14, dos días después de la primera llegada en alto, el Campo Imperatore del Gran Sasso, la gran cima abrucense]but we must remain vigilant and avoid risks”.

The Giro is Evenepoel in pink, as it was written, from the first stage of its route to the Three Peaks of Lavaredo. “It’s what he wanted,” says the Belgian, who at 23 years old, so many things have already happened to him in his short career, he catches in his eyes the coolness of a child, the certain wisdom of an old man. The drive and control. The desire to be unique by following an already written road book, without skipping chapters, and like the Cannibal, his grandfather would be Merckx, who is now 78, devouring everything in his path, and he smiling. “I have prepared this time trial as if it were the world championship. I wanted the rose, I wanted the rose”, says Evenepoel, his first rose in his second Giro, the first Belgian to dress as the Giro leader after the first stage since 2001, when Rick Verbrughe won the prologue in Pescara, on the same coast. , not so far, from Evenepoel. The last Belgian to win the Giro was Johan de Muynck in 1978, 45 years ago. “I only thought about going as fast as possible, nothing more. He had calculated that he would do a time of 21m 30s, and I did 12s less. From the beginning I have adapted very well, nor have I changed development until the final climb…”

Stage Position and General Cyclist Equipment Time Difference
1 Remco Evenepoel Soudal Quick-Step 21:18 00:00
2 Filippo Ganna Ineos Grenadiers 9:40 p.m. 00:22
3 Joao Almeida UAE Team Emirates 21:47 00:29
4 Geraint Thomas Ineos Grenadiers 21:58 00:40
5 Stefan Kung Groupama – FDJ 22:01 00:43

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