Words by Jen See
On Thursday, Tony Martin rode a solo breakaway for nearly 175 kilometers at the Vuelta a España. That’s pretty much the entire stage. The field caught him in the final meters, in sight of the finish line.
That’s the way it is sometimes with cycling. You might win, but more often than not, you get nothing. Michael Mørkøv won the sprint and the podium flowers. I’m just going to call him slasher from now on. I think I’m a little jealous of his vowels, actually.
Now, 175 kilometers is a very long time to ride a bike alone, especially in a bike race. At a bike race, you wake up in the morning, you pin your numbers, you tighten your shoes, and you expect to spend the next four hours bumping and grinding from start to finish with 189 of your closest friends. Apparently, Martin did not want to play with the other kids. The stage lasted 3:54:14.
What do you think about for 3 hours, 54 minutes, and 14 seconds of riding a bike solo ahead of a bike race?
Cupcakes. cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles. vanilla frosting. definitely vanilla frosting, because chocolate is not as good. vanilla cake, too, because it’s the best. vanilla cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles. that’s what i want right now. and a coffee. maybe iced. it’s hot here in spain. does it feel hot to you? it feels hot to me. i think all coffee should be iced when it’s hot. cold-brewed is good, maybe. or maybe just an espresso. you can never go wrong with an espresso. i’ll have an espresso. definitely. and a vanilla cupcake. with sprinkles.
I wonder what they’re growing over there? so many trees. what grows on trees? i don’t think it’s apples. how do you like them apples? i don’t know why my teammate is always saying that. does he even know what it means? because i don’t. maybe those are nut trees. nuts grow on trees, right? or olives. somebody said they grow olives here. i hope we don’t get pasta for dinner again tonight. why can’t it just be steak or something for once? or a frankfurter. frankfurters are really good. with mustard.
Beer. i could really use a beer now. cold beer. hey team car, bring me a fucking beer. it’s hot out here. fuck. they never give me what i want. all they do is tell me the time gaps. you have ten minutes. yes. i knnnnnooowww. i had ten minutes ten minutes ago. it doesn’t really matter anyway. like this move is going to stay away. they’re such assholes letting me slay myself out here like this. why couldn’t some fucker come with me? like i want to be out here solo.
It would be cool to win. i like winning. when was the last race i won? some time trial somewhere or something. this would be so awesome. winning solo after the whole day. maybe the stupid fucks will misjudge it this time. maybe if they outlaw race radios. ha ha because that’ll work. who believes that shit anyway. still ten minutes. right. awesome.
That one podium girl, she’s pretty hot. i bet she smells nice. if i win i could stand next to her. that would be cool. i wonder what she’s doing right now. i think she’s pretty. should i ask for her number? maybe i should ask for her number. she probably wouldn’t give it to me anyway. at least i get to stand next to her. if i could just win this bike race. fuck.
But I’m not going to win. no way are they going to let me stay away. they’re totally going to catch me. i should sit up. i really should just sit up. or go slower. if i just go a little slower, maybe they could catch me sooner. but they probably wouldn’t. they would just chase slower, those assholes, and i’d be out here even longer.
Okay, i have to ride harder. because if i go faster, i can finish sooner. faster. push bigger gears. ouch. fuck. that hurts. just get it over with. over with. that’s what i want. then i can have a beer. do you think they’ll let me have a beer after this? i totally deserve it. beer is so fattening though. and next week there are so many mountains.
Why are there always so many mountains in this race? can’t we just ride the flats for three weeks. that would be the best grand tour ever. flat every day. i would never have to climb straight up some fucking mountain. it would be so perfect. i’d probably have to ride a solo break every day.
How far to go? shit, still 40 k’s to go. that’s forever. i wonder who lives in that house over there? maybe they have beer in the fridge. i should just ride in their front door and ask for a beer. that would be funny. i bet they’d think that was funny. they probably don’t have any beer. i wonder what’s on tv. i’d like to be watching tv right now. that’d be cool if i could watch tv while i was racing. i wouldn’t get bored. they’d want to give me time gaps during the best parts though. that would suck.
I’m so tired now. where’s the fucking finish line? those spectators look pretty bored. i think i’d be bored watching me too. i’m just sitting here pedaling. same shit as three hours ago. they’re just standing out there in the hot sun watching. maybe they have beer. i’d really like a beer.
Damn, the time gap is dropping now. i guess the stupid fucks back there started chasing. i still have 25 k’s to go. i’m never going to get there. this was a really stupid idea. what was i thinking? house painting. i think i’ll take up house painting. i’d be really good at that. all those colors. and being neat and not dripping all over everything. i bet i’d be really good at that job.
Or maybe i could open a bar. and serve beer all day. i could have the best fucking bar. with televisions. and cupcakes. people would come and sit and drink my beer. i’d be good at serving their beer. i wouldn’t spill any. but then they’d drink too much and puke all over and i don’t think i’d like that. keep pedaling. fuck. this is hard.
Is that the 10k’s to go banner? finally. what the fuck took that thing so long to show up? it looks like a donut. fuck, i’m hungry. is this thing almost over? because i’m pretty fucking tired now. 10k. i can always ride 10 k’s. they said i have two minutes. that sucks. there’s no way i’m making it. i’m so fucking tired. riding bikes is hard.
5 k’s to go. omigod, i might get to stand next to the cute podium girl. omigod. keep pedaling. fuck. it’s so hard. shut-up. keep going. almost there. so close now. fuck. they’re coming.
There’s the finish. i got this. omigod. i got this. so close. i’m going to winnnnn.
Sprinters. i hate them. i hate them so much. no i don’t want a bottle. i want a beer. someone get me a beer.
I’m never doing that again. house painting. i’m going to be a house painter.