Worlds reportage: a first

Pic by Lorenza Cerbini
Yes, a first that is. A first time for a Portuguese, for the first time a Portuguese is the first one on a World Championship's finish line. A first time is always unforgettable and that's also my first time on that rainbow line. I have been in Varese, in Mendrisio and in Valkenburg but never so close, never inside the 'holy circle' of cycling. 
I wanted to write about space today but it's more about time: so many times Purito Rodriguez went close to a medail, to a GC victory in a big tour! and what a long time has passed since when Alejandro Valverde used to avoid the Italian race to avoid the Italian antidoping. He passed the time of his bann and he's back. Two Spaniards and a Portuguese. And it was about time for Portugal to get a golden medail in cycling. The Portuguese couldn't be other than Rui Costa, after such a splendd season, after such an impressive improvement in the last years - twice in a row winner of Suisse, stages in the Giro etc etc... - but as far as Spaniards I can't avoid to think that few time ago you had expected Alberto Contador. Not now, not after such a poor season and such an impressive resizing. 
The size of the press area in this Worlds was also impressive... I mean that it was small. With a 'press' pass - or better 'Media' - you could only stay in a fenced space, partially covered, with only one tv, after the finish line, far from the tribune, far from the speakers box so that it was hard to understand, and no seats. Space at races is something semantically rich, something expressing a hierarchy, absolutely not democratic. Different kinds of pass or colored jakets assign you a space and a position. The finish line is of course the sancta sanctorum but there isn't a centrum because the most important pass gives you access to all areas. Ubiquity is the privilege of management, organization, UCI. The most hated pass is VIP or also GUESTS: people who very often know nothing of cycling but stay in the best place. They are not working but can see all while you are working but see few. Paying people are more popular: at least they really wanted to be there and are interested in the race. Photographers with a red jacket can stay on the line and in front of the awarding podium but usually jurnos are allowed to stay in front of it outside the barriers: not here. This WC will remain a first also for the strictness and nonsense of its rules about access and spaces. 
Than it rains and suddenly the small, poor, usually deserted press area gets crowded: not of 'press'. Volunteers, policemen, Carabinieri, teams staff, guests... everybody is suddenly allowed to invade our space. There is a break-away, I go to the barrier to take a picture, in the pourring rain, I'm already wet since hours, they pass, I step for one second in the covered area at my back: some seats, a tv, only one UCI man who immediately sends me away! That's a holy space. Outside I have a son in the rain, at the barriers with many people waiting and cheering. No matter. We are not made of sugar. Also that is cycling.
At races you barely see the race. I see that GB Team worked a lot in the first part of the day but they disapeared in the final. Many crashes affected many nations' results. Italy attacked with all its riders: Visconti from far, Nibali from closer. In the end Nibali was in the right break-away with Rui Costa, Rodrigue and Valverde. But Purito said in the press conference that Nibali wasn't the same as usual in the descent - maybe because he crashed twice... - so he decided to go solo. At the sprint Valverde was faster, normal that Nibali got beated. Italy did a great race but lost all. Spain played defensively but in spite of the fact they were two failed to win. Those were two big teams. Portugal wasn't. Rui Costa has won solo and on his own. 
In front of me the first one passes and it is Rui Costa. He passes slowly, or not so fast. He passes rising his arms. After him photographers run and all the press. Cameras, phones, notes in the hands and high on the head to get a something. 
Something of nothing because the winner is impossible to reach, still on his bike he's riding to the tv interviews box and then to the podium. Small and far I see him wearing the Rainbow Jersey while the rainbow was finally shining also in the sky. The two Spaniards unhappy at his sides, right and left, like two guards.
In the press conference Purito Rodriguez looks the most unhappy: "I have a rich palmares but the Rainbow Jersey is missed and I came here to win. I can't be satisfied." Both he and Valverde say nothing was wrong: Rui Costa simply was the strongest. 
Rui Costa says it's a dream but he looks dawn to earth. He says: "It has been tough" but he sounds in control, not emotional, not confused. Asked about his future he says: "Now I think of today, tomorrow I'll see." He's going to Lampre next year: a surprising move for me but for sure a smart choice by the Italian team. Not the first time a World Champion wears the Blue and Fuksia kit.
It has been quite a day!



1 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Portugal) 7:25:44
2 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spain)
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spain) 0:00:17
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Italy)
5 Andriy Grivko (Ukraine) 0:00:31
6 Peter Sagan (Slovakia) 0:00:34
7 Simon Clarke (Australia)
8 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kazakhstan)
9 Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)
10 Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)
11 Bauke Mollema (Netherlands)
12 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Norway)
13 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spain)
14 Simon Geschke (Germany)
15 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Colombia)
16 Michele Scarponi (Italy)
17 Filippo Pozzato (Italy) 0:01:05
18 Arthur Vichot (France)
19 Maciej Paterski (Poland)
20 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)
21 Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark)
22 Ignatas Konovalovas (Lithuania) 0:01:26
23 Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium)
24 Yury Trofimov (Russian Federation) 0:01:44
25 Pieter Weening (Netherlands) 0:01:59
26 Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic)
27 Aleksejs Saramotins (Latvia) 0:02:01
28 Romain Bardet (France)
29 Serge Pauwels (Belgium)
30 Matija Kvasina (Croatia)
31 Alex Howes (United States of America)
32 Chris Anker Sorensen (Denmark)
33 Michal Golas (Poland)
34 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Colombia)
35 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Colombia)
36 Tiago Jose Pinto Machado (Portugal)
37 Peter Stetina (United States of America)
38 Stefan Denifl (Austria) 0:02:05
39 Marcus Burghardt (Germany) 0:03:40
40 Jan Polanc (Slovenia)
41 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Colombia) 0:04:27
42 John Degenkolb (Germany) 0:04:53
43 Sergei Chernetski (Russian Federation) 0:04:55
44 Anthony Roux (France)
45 Gregory Rast (Switzerland) 0:06:24
46 Thomas Lovkvist (Sweden) 0:07:27
47 Andrei Nechita (Romania) 0:08:06
48 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spain)
49 Paul Martens (Germany)
50 Thibaut Pinot (France) 0:09:09
51 Giovanni Visconti (Italy) 0:09:15
52 Bartosz Huzarski (Poland) 0:09:36
53 Danilo Wyss (Switzerland) 0:11:20
54 Jan Barta (Czech Republic)
55 Fabian Wegmann (Germany)
56 Amael Moinard (France)
57 Jan Bakelants (Belgium)
58 Rafal Majka (Poland) 0:12:55
59 Cyril Gautier (France) 0:15:11
60 Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands)
61 Thomas Voeckler (France)
DNF Youcef Reguigui (Algeria)
DNF Enzo Moyano (Argentina)
DNF Cadel Evans (Australia)
DNF Cameron Meyer (Australia)
DNF David Tanner (Australia)
DNF Mathew Hayman (Australia)
DNF Michael Matthews (Australia)
DNF Richie Porte (Australia)
DNF Rohan Dennis (Australia)
DNF Rory Sutherland (Australia)
DNF Bernhard Eisel (Austria)
DNF Georg Preidler (Austria)
DNF Markus Eibegger (Austria)
DNF Matthias Brandle (Austria)
DNF Riccardo Zoidl (Austria)
DNF Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus)
DNF Bjorn Leukemans (Belgium)
DNF Johan Vansummeren (Belgium)
DNF Maxime Monfort (Belgium)
DNF Murilo Antonio Fischer (Brazil)
DNF Rafael Andriato (Brazil)
DNF Spas Gyurov (Bulgaria)
DNF Christian Meier (Canada)
DNF Francois Parisien (Canada)
DNF Janier Acevedo Calle (Colombia)
DNF Jose Cayetano Sarmiento Tunarosa (Colombia)
DNF Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Colombia)
DNF Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Colombia)
DNF Winner Anacona Gomez (Colombia)
DNF Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (Costa Rica)
DNF Gregory Obando Brenes (Costa Rica)
DNF Kristijan Durasek (Croatia)
DNF Radoslav Rogina (Croatia)
DNF Frantisek Rabon (Czech Republic)
DNF Jakub Novak (Czech Republic)
DNF Martin Hunal (Czech Republic)
DNF Stanislav Kozubek (Czech Republic)
DNF Matti Breschel (Denmark)
DNF Jose Ragonessi (Ecuador)
DNF Daniel Teklehaymanot (Eritrea)
DNF Jani Tewelde Weldegabir (Eritrea)
DNF Meron Russom (Eritrea)
DNF Alo Jakin (Estonia)
DNF Gert Joeaar (Estonia)
DNF Tanel Kangert (Estonia)
DNF Jussi Veikkanen (Finland)
DNF Christophe Riblon (France)
DNF Warren Barguil (France)
DNF Dominik Nerz (Germany)
DNF Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)
DNF Christopher Froome (Great Britain)
DNF Geraint Thomas (Great Britain)
DNF Ian Stannard (Great Britain)
DNF Joshua Edmondson (Great Britain)
DNF Luke Rowe (Great Britain)
DNF Mark Cavendish (Great Britain)
DNF Stephen Cummings (Great Britain)
DNF Ioannis Tamouridis (Greece)
DNF Ho Ting Kwok (Hong Kong, China)
DNF King Lok Cheung (Hong Kong, China)
DNF Peter Kusztor (Hungary)
DNF Daniel Martin (Ireland)
DNF Matt Brammeier (Ireland)
DNF Nicolas Roche (Ireland)
DNF Sam Bennett (Ireland)
DNF Alessandro Vanotti (Italy)
DNF Diego Ulissi (Italy)
DNF Ivan Santaromita (Italy)
DNF Luca Paolini (Italy)
DNF Rinaldo Nocentini (Italy)
DNF Alexey Lutsenko (Kazakhstan)
DNF Andrey Zeits (Kazakhstan)
DNF Andris Smirnovs (Latvia)
DNF Viesturs Luksevics (Latvia)
DNF Gediminas Bagdonas (Lithuania)
DNF Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania)
DNF Bob Jungels (Luxembourg)
DNF Sea Keong Loh (Malaysia)
DNF Hector Hugo Rangel Zamarron (Mexico)
DNF Juan Pablo Magallanes Aranda (Mexico)
DNF Uri Martins (Mexico)
DNF Adil Jelloul (Morocco)
DNF Essaid Abelouache (Morocco)
DNF Ismail Ayoune (Morocco)
DNF Lahcen Saber (Morocco)
DNF Reda Aadel (Morocco)
DNF Johnny Hoogerland (Netherlands)
DNF Laurens Ten Dam (Netherlands)
DNF Robert Gesink (Netherlands)
DNF Sebastian Langeveld (Netherlands)
DNF Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands)
DNF Tom Jelte Slagter (Netherlands)
DNF George Bennett (New Zealand)
DNF Jack Bauer (New Zealand)
DNF Sam Bewley (New Zealand)
DNF Thor Hushovd (Norway)
DNF Maciej Bodnar (Poland)
DNF Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland)
DNF Przemyslaw Niemiec (Poland)
DNF Szmyd Sylwester (Poland)
DNF André Fernando Cardoso (Portugal)
DNF Serghei Tvetcov (Republic of Moldova)
DNF Alexandr Kolobnev (Russian Federation)
DNF Ivan Stevic (Serbia)
DNF Juraj Sagan (Slovakia)
DNF Martin Velits (Slovakia)
DNF Matej Jurco (Slovakia)
DNF Patrik Tybor (Slovakia)
DNF Peter Velits (Slovakia)
DNF Borut Bozic (Slovenia)
DNF Grega Bole (Slovenia)
DNF Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia)
DNF Kristijan Koren (Slovenia)
DNF Mugerli Matej (Slovenia)
DNF Daryl Impey (South Africa)
DNF Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa)
DNF Alberto Contador Velasco (Spain)
DNF Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spain)
DNF Jose Herrada Lopez (Spain)
DNF Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spain)
DNF Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spain)
DNF Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Sweden)
DNF Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden)
DNF Martin Elmiger (Switzerland)
DNF Mathias Frank (Switzerland)
DNF Michael Albasini (Switzerland)
DNF Michael Schar (Switzerland)
DNF Oliver Zaugg (Switzerland)
DNF Sebastien Reichenbach (Switzerland)
DNF Rafaa Chtioui (Tunisia)
DNF Andriy Khripta (Ukraine)
DNF Mykhaylo Kononenko (Ukraine)
DNF Sergiy Grechyn (Ukraine)
DNF Vitaliy Buts (Ukraine)
DNF Yaroslav Popovych (Ukraine)
DNF Andrew Talansky (United States of America)
DNF Christopher Horner (United States of America)
DNF Matthew Busche (United States of America)
DNF Taylor Phinney (United States of America)
DNF Tejay van Garderen (United States of America)
DNF Carlos Jose Ochoa (Venezuela)
DNF Freddy Vargas (Venezuela)
DNF Jackson Rodriguez (Venezuela)
DNF Pedro Sequera (Venezuela)
DNF Yonathan Monsalve (Venezuela)
DNF Yonder Godoy (Venezuela)


Worlds reportage: riding like a girl

The front group at the last lap
Power, tattics, skill: where is the difference with a men race? the route is short but you can't say 'easier' given that 'hardness' is related to physical capacities and those are different. More or less. I'd like to know better. It seems to me that Marianne Vos could easily beat a lot of men. Mark Cavendish said she's the strongest rider in the world, not 'female' rider. Rider and stop. She's strong on the road, in cyclocross and even in MBK. Few men can tell the same. 
That's for 'power' but skill and tattics have nothing to do with gender and the race I'm watching is great. Less laps - 'only' 5 - and a flat introduction but the same profile in the last km, and it's a tough one, not only demanding but also tricky. Riders must be strong and smart. They are. 
I don't dare to explain, I just report what I have seen. Italians attacking one by one, a small selected group in the last lap including two Dutches, Marianne Vos attacking, Rossella Ratto and Emma Johansson following. Ratto had attacked all the day probably for Bronzini spending maybe too much, Johansson was the quickest so Vos knew she must be dropped before the line. Perfect plann, perfectly realized on the road finally crowded.
Marianne Vos just after the finish
I'm after the finish. Marianne Vos upset, happy, almost in tears passes by, photographers run, she's escorted to the awarding podium. I watch the cerimony from behind heads and cameras, three riders exhausted and proud. They are girls: nailpolish, long hair or a cute cut, beautiful smiling eyes. 
I watch them closer in the press conference: three very different kind of girls. Vos looks like a child and still 'older', more mature, she's a bit like Fabian Cancellara in the men peloton and got asked also about the new UCI president - "Things are not going to change in one day or one year but that's the start of a change" - She has got the authority of a recognised champion. Johansson is the most girlish in spite - or because - of her modern short hair cut. She's brilliant, sparkling, lively. Ratto instead remembers me an Italian 'madonna': serious, modest, not shy but calm. I'm impressed by her very good English. 
Riding like a girl... isn't different than riding like a guy. It's different the road that leads to the top in sport. For a guy is hard to become a profesional cyclist, for a girl is harder. A guy must be determinated, a girl must be more determinated. She has got much less chances. That's why those girls are selfconfident and humble at once. 
Marianne Vos walks toward the podium
Today's Men Elitte RR. Best tweet: Melissa Hoskins : "No pressure fellas but I want an exciting race like the women gave us yesterday. Entertain me!!!! #battleofthesexes #Toscana2013 "
Marianne Vos, Emma Johansson, Rossella Ratto

1 Marianne Vos (Netherlands) 3:44:00
2 Emma Johansson (Sweden) 0:00:15
3 Rossella Ratto (Italy)
4 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) 0:00:33
5 Evelyn Stevens (United States of America) 0:00:46
6 Linda Melanie Villumsen (New Zealand) 0:00:50
7 Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) 0:00:52
8 Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)
9 Tiffany Cromwell (Australia) 0:01:40
10 Tatiana Antoshina (Russian Federation)
11 Elena Kuchinskaya (Russian Federation) 0:02:41
12 Claudia Häusler (Germany) 0:03:34
13 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) 0:04:20
14 Megan Guarnier (United States of America) 0:04:41
15 Annemiek Van Vleuten (Netherlands) 0:05:03
16 Eleonora Van Dijk (Netherlands)
17 Paulina Brzezna (Poland)
18 Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) 0:05:05
19 Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain) 0:05:28
20 Trixi Worrack (Germany)
21 Eugenia Bujak (Poland)
22 Ashleigh Moolman (South Africa)
23 Flavia Oliveira (Brazil)
24 Francesca Cauz (Italy) 0:05:30
25 Carlee Taylor (Australia)
26 Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) 0:05:35
27 Lucinda Brand (Netherlands) 0:06:44
28 Valentina Scandolara (Italy) 0:07:40
29 Jolanda Neff (Switzerland)
30 Oxana Kozonchuk (Russian Federation)
31 Shara Gillow (Australia)
32 Kristin McGrath (United States of America)
33 Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada)
34 Edwige Pitel (France)
35 Doris Schweizer (Switzerland) 0:07:46
36 Tetyana Riabchenko (Ukraine) 0:08:51
37 Mara Abbott (United States of America) 0:09:40
38 Miriam Bjørnsrud (Norway) 0:12:09
39 Liesbet De Vocht (Belgium)
40 Eri Yonamine (Japan)
41 Susanna Zorzi (Italy)
42 Inga Cilvinaite (Lithuania)
43 Anastasiya Chulkova (Russian Federation) 0:13:00
44 Andrea Dvorak (United States of America)
45 Eivgenia Vysotska (Ukraine)
46 Anna Sanchis Chafer (Spain)
DNF Noemi Cantele (Italy)
DNF Hanna Solovey (Ukraine)
DNF Audrey Cordon (France)
DNF Madelene Olsson (Sweden)
DNF Joanne Kiesanowski (New Zealand)
DNF Natalia Boyarskaya (Russian Federation)
DNF Lorena Maria Vargas Villamil (Colombia)
DNF Maaike Polspoel (Belgium)
DNF Reta Trotman (New Zealand)
DNF Enkhjargal Tuvshinjargal (Mongolia)
DNF Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen (Norway)
DNF Paz Bash (Israel)
DNF Uenia Fernandes Da Souza (Brazil)
DNF Aude Biannic (France)
DNF Amanda Spratt (Australia)
DNF Elise Delzenne (France)
DNF Olivia Dillon (Ireland)
DNF Melanie Späth (Ireland)
DNF Ingrid Lorvik (Norway)
DNF Julie Leth (Denmark)
DNF Daiva Tuslaite (Lithuania)
DNF Diana Peñuela (Colombia)
DNF Agne Silinyte (Lithuania)
DNF Špela Kern (Slovenia)
DNF Malgorzta Jasinska (Poland)
DNF Patricia Schwager (Switzerland)
DNF Lex Albrecht (Canada)
DNF Romy Kasper (Germany)
DNF Lisa Brennauer (Germany)
DNF Leah Kirchmann (Canada)
DNF Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spain)
DNF Denise Ramsden (Canada)
DNF Polona Batagelj (Slovenia)
DNF Ursa Pintar (Slovenia)
DNF Carolina Rodriguez Gutierrez (Mexico)
DNF Amy Cure (Australia)
DNF Gracie Elvin (Australia)
DNF Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)
DNF Annelies Van Doorslaer (Belgium)
DNF Sofie De Vuyst (Belgium)
DNF Esther Fennel (Germany)
DNF Andrea Graus (Austria)
DNF Martina Ritter (Austria)
DNF Daniela Pintarelli (Austria)
DNF Sara Mustonen (Sweden)
DNF Joelle Numainville (Canada)
DNF Amy Pieters (Netherlands)
DNF Minami Ueno (Japan)
DNF Ana Fagua (Colombia)
DNF Lilibeth Chacon Garcia (Venezuela)
DNF Belen Lopez Morales (Spain)
DNF Vita Heine (Latvia)
DNF Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland)
DNF Sari Saarelainen (Finland)
DNF Ingrid Drexel (Mexico)
DNF Jessie Daams (Belgium)
DNF Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)
DNF Katie Colclough (Great Britain)
DNF Nikki Harris (Great Britain)
DNF Loes Gunnewijk (Netherlands)
DNF Lelizaveta Oshurkova (Ukraine)
DNF Silvija Latozaite (Lithuania)
DNF Ivanna Borovychenko (Ukraine)
DNF Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland)
DNF Lauren Kitchen (Australia)
DNF Martina Ruzickova (Czech Republic)
DNF Ana Teresa Casas Bonilla (Mexico)
DNF Edith Guillen (Costa Rica)
DNF Diána Szurominé Pulsfort (Hungary)
DNF Nontasin Chanpeng (Thailand)
DNF Jutatip Maneephan (Thailand)
DNF Antonela Ferencic (Croatia)
DNF Clemilda Fernandes Silva (Brazil)
DNF Supaksorn Nuntana (Thailand)
DNF Kathryn Bertine (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
DNF Véronique Fortin (Canada)
DNF Katazina Sosna (Lithuania)
DNF Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (France)
DNF Emilia Fahlin (Sweden)
DNF Jessica Kihlbom (Sweden)
DNF Céline Van Severen (Belgium)
DNF Svetlana Stolbova (Russian Federation)
DNF Hanna Nilsson (Sweden)
DNF Martina Thomasson (Sweden)
DNF Elke Gebhardt (Germany)
DNF Karen Doljak (Paraguay)
DNF Carmen Small (United States of America)
DNF Jade Wilcoxson (United States of America)
DNF Lucy Garner (Great Britain)
DNF Emily Collins (New Zealand)
DNF Tereza Trefná (Czech Republic)
DNF Lotta Lepistö (Finland)
DNF Samah Khaled (Jordan)
DNF Cindi Magali Dinatale (Argentina)
DNF Dragana Kovacevic (Serbia)