So I went for a ride and then I headed over to my favorite sandwich joint. And the guy behind the counter, he watches pro bike racing. And we got to talking about Paris-Roubaix.
I’ve always sort of envied mainstream sports fans – they get to talk about last night’s game with random passers-by. But cycling, it’s like a secret club. Not everyone watched the game last night. Which, why didn’t they? Because it was awesome.
It was crazy times watching Boonen ride away with 55 kilometers to go. And that moment, when the others behind him, they start looking at one another like, are you going to chase? And you see them realize one after the other, I got nothing on that.
That long doomed chase, you felt for those guys, right? Killing themselves on the front with still 50 kilometers and seven or so sectors of cobbles to go – including the monster Carrefour de l’Arbe which more normally plays the racemaker.
The bike race, it was a long way gone up the road and not coming back.
The talk after the bike race, the rehashing and arguments, I think that might just be my favorite part of the whole thing.
People, really? You really were criticizing Pozzato? Aww, that poor dude. No way he was bringing Boonen back himself, not without help. And Ballan, he just got there after dashing across the gap, and then, there’s Nikki Terpstra going to the front and pounding on it. That was a smashing right there.
I’m not usually an afficionado of the long breakaway. But this one, it had drama. Something about the weight of history, and the sheer desperation and disbelief of the chase behind. They seemed shell-shocked. Like, for reals? He’s really gone? Yes, kids, he’s really gone. Next time you see him, he’ll be on the podium cradling his new rock.
You don’t too often see a rider so much in his element as Boonen was on the cobbles on Sunday.
Oh, and while I’m here? Rog, dude, shut your piehole! Blah blah in my day the cobbles were harder, blah blah… Whatevs, brah. Your record, that thing is so going down.