Paris Nice Stage 3
Seems fitting that already on Stage 3 I'm deciding to go off piste regards this journal. It's one of the wonderful things about this platform, we have very few rules, so here's what I'm thinking...
Race first, it was good, head crosswind, and contrary to what you might think, head crosswind is much easier than cross tailwind. Cross-tail is the worst, there is less slipstream to be found and it's faster, much faster, therefore less margin for error - when the shit goes down in cross-tail you better make sure you are where you need to be or you can't fix it.
I was only able to fix those situations a few times in my career, and when I did, it was epic and only those in the race knew. My contracts didn't get bigger, my palmares stayed the same, but, I did get status amongst my peers - and ultimately that is probably the most rewarding. Still, it would be cast in shadows of failure by the very fact you'd been caught out. So you know, it all ended up being the same.
Today, was the closest Paris Nice gets to a bunch sprint. Peter Sagan is looking imperial, like a king of old quietly planning the overcoming. Deceuninck tried too hard, which is normal, they were caught out yesterday and it's rare a team of their excellence won't come out over-gunning. Ivan Garcia showed he IS on amazing form, let's not forget he was essentially MVP on Stage One, he put the most teamwork on the road to chase down Alaphilippe and Benoot in those final 30km that day; clearly he's firing, and he won today on his own. Impressive. The top ten on the stage:
1. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 5:49:55
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Circus-Wanty Gobert
4. Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb
5. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
6. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
7. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie
8. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
9. Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Israel Start-Up Nation
10. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale
Going into tomorrow's TT this is the GC, and for those of you unaware, Schachmann is very good. He won three stages of the Basque country last year, that's an insanity. His brilliance and potential has been brushed to the side in this generation of Bernal's, Remco's, VdP's... Don't be shocked if he carries yellow to Nice.
1. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 13:12:01
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling 0:00:13
3. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:24
4. Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:00:25
5. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling 0:00:26
6. Nils Politt (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:00:28
7. Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:00:28
8. Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:31
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:31
10. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:36
That paused my thinking meaning I'm going to have to go away and think about it again. I'll get back to the existential stuff tomorrow.