Some cycling pundits (aye, you Ed) have said that the Spanish team had a terrible World Road Championships 2009 – well bronze, a fourth, ninth and fifteenth is better than any other country than I guess Australia and Russia, although Russia only had two riders in the top twenty.
The most important Spanish National TV station (TVE 1) top-lined the result on the main evening news on Sunday evening.
Joaquin Rodriguez was hailed as a hero, as was Sammy Sanchez, Alejandro Valverde and Oscar Freire, for making the last group and all getting in the top 15, better than all the other teams. What happened to Italia and dare I say it, GB?
The TV news was for the normal man in the street, what about the sports papers?
My favourite paper; AS leads with;
“ ‘Purito’ se lleva el bronce en la exhibiciÃ³n de Evans”.
“Purito”, if you hadn’t guessed is Rodriguez’s nick name and he won the bronze at the ‘Evans exhibition’. He is also credited to have made the important break; his attack took him, Kolobnev and Evans clear of the other nine.
“Kolobnev wasn’t stupid (tonto), he wanted to sprint for gold and didn’t kill himself in the final. For me the bronze is good”.
And the team?
“Yes the bronze is very important for the team; we have great spirit and union”.
Spain also had a new director; José Luis de Santos, he said;
“We had a great championship, brilliant work by the team, the best team (selecciÃ³n), better than the Italians.
“Samuel was in charge of Cancellara and Valverde was occupied with Cunego.”
But the Australian, Cadel Evans is the new World Champion and all the Spanish press could see he was the best man on the day, with a very good team. Evans has been called “eterno segundÃ³n” (eternal second) and: his win was “justicia poética” (poetic justice) after his mediocre Tour due to physical problems, : and possibly losing La Vuelta due to an un-lucky puncture on the Sierra Nevada.
He won majestically, solo, with great strength on the last 6 kilometres.
A good win, a great win!
But Spain did OK, Ed.