Stage 10: Xorret de Cati
Different Kinds of Water
What do you think those who saw the classifications yesterday morning
were thinking? Maybe that because it was a flat stage, that there would
be a sprint finish. Those that were at the front for the finish were
sprinters, which would be normal but how it happened was not normal. Odd
for one reason. At one point during the stage there was a strong side
wind and Luis Perez was at the rear of the peloton so we escorted him up
to the front of the bunch - and just in time. The rider in front of Stuey
attacked and he followed his wheel - Zabel and Freire saw O’Grady escape and
immediately took off after him. The fish jersey was up for grabs at the
intermediate sprint and they could not let him go out front alone. What
surprised us all is that that group finished ahead of the peloton. Not normal.
(I am sure that Daily Peloton was able to better describe what happened.)
Water is essential on days like today that are very hot. It was already
very hot by the time that we started the stage. We were all drinking a
lot of water and even before we had ridden 50kms we needed to
replenish our supply. Not so easy to do though, since regulation
prohibits riders from going back to their team cars and getting water.
There was a breakaway and the peloton mellowed out a bit, which offered the
opportunity to go back and get water.
Although it is not a personal habit
of mine, a lot of other riders like to pour water over their heads to cool
down. Squirting water through your helmet seems to drench the rider
behind more than anything anyway, which can get irritating sometimes,
especially when they mess up your sunglasses. If there is something that
irks me, it is messy sunglasses. One reason that I always carry lens
paper in my jersey pocket in case I need to clean my lenses. This is
an example of undesired water.
If you find yourself in a grupetto suffering, your director will more than
likely show up to give you a fresh bottle of water. Why is this? Well, it
is not always to replenish your supply. Normally when you reach for the
bottle you just hold on to it for awhile - instead of holding on the team
car for a bit of relief, you just hold on to the bottle and let it pull
you. This always helps the group pick up the pace a little and avoid
disaster. This is an example of helpful water.
Another class of undesired water usually comes in the form of rain, or
downpours. No one normally cares much for rain, especially in the last
few kilometers when the pace is fast. Normally right before the rain
starts we get a cold sensation that is out of the ordinary. This is much
like coming in on a 90 degree day and opening the refrigerator for relief.
In this part of Spain, rain means rain! The road looks more like a swimming pool
with 10cm deep of water that we have to pedal through.
Well, this evening when the classifications were handed out at dinner, we
noticed that there were a few fines that were given out by UCI. Today,
Jaunma Garate of Lampre was seen taking water around kilometer 35. I
talked with Garate and asked him what happened; he said that he went
back to get water but the hand off was done so that the UCI commission
would not see - or so they thought.
The Lampre director had stuck the water
bottle into a hat, which Garate took and stuck into the front part of his
jersey. He rode back up to the peloton and made sure that he was well
hidden before taking it out of his jersey. What he didn’t know is that
when the director handed him the hat, a motorcycle with an UCI official had
followed him to see if it was really a water bottle. Okay, so rules are in
place for a reason, but to hunt down offenders like this is a bit over the
This was certainly a very expensive bottle of water for Garate.
Yellow Jersey Tours
who guesses how much the fine was may just be the winner of the offending
water bottle signed by Juanma Garate! Email the
Daily Peloton with the subject
line Juanma Guess by 12 noon Pacific Time Thursday, 16 September, and if
you are the first to guess correctly, Bingen will send you the water bottle!