Why was it an especially good day? For one, my jersey didn’t get muddy, but more on that later. Additionally it was recently reported that NH is going to have a banner year for maple syrup, my brother’s birthday is today – which I guess is more cool than good since I’m not in America and he’s not in France so we can’t celebrate together – but best yet, Elia took the leader’s jersey today with some very deft sprinting here at Paris-Nice.
And now a quick abstract of just how stage 2 went down. Weird weird weird stage today. So three guys went right from the gun, which was convenient since it kept the initial fighting to a bare minimum. They quickly grew a 3-4-5 minute lead over the peloton before they apparently just decided to all sit up. Mysterious. Not to be outdone, back in the peloton we also sat up, because with a pancake flat 200km, we weren’t interested in catching them. Then they sat up hard, like 20kph. So we sat up hard, also like 20kph. When you’re a peloton rolling along at that speed, it’s almost embarrassing. But whatever.
We finally caught them around hour 2, so we must have only “sat up hard” to 20.2kph rather than their sluggish 20.0kph. Then we had nothing to do since no one else wanted to go into the breakaway at that point. There was simply no incentive, no time bonus, no KOM sprint points, no nothing until 18km to go. So we chugged along at a modest clip.
Finally sometime maybe around hour 4 we started chugging along with some serious gumption. So that was a nice (literal) change of pace. But of course everyone was nervous as can be so the number of crashes, the number of guys with holes in their jerseys, and strangely enough, the number of guys with tons of mud and grime all over their backs plus grass in their derailleurs was just frightening.
Definitely one of the strangest days I’ve been part of with a number pinned to my back.
So easy few hours, then HARD few hour(s) to finish things off. One of those square peg/round hole days. It doesn’t fit to have 200 guys riding in the front 20, even though 200 guys want to ride in the front 20.
And subsequently, with some superb sprinting and very fine riding these first three days, Elia has the jersey!
Happy birthday, Robo.