Finally you have time to visit that cycling restaurant your friends have been bragging about. Expectations are very high
You start with the entrada of Giro d’Italia and you’re left mind-blown thanks to the Colombian fruits of Nairo Quintana, Rigoberto Uran, Julian Arredondo and the Colombian pro cycling team. A typical, routine fruit salad suddenly tastes so much better.
Then you move on to the main course, the Tour de France. A dish that always tastes great but this time you are left disappointed. Your gourmet Bandeja Paisa has been served, but the essential chicharrones in the form of Froome vs Contador are missing- off the table before you’ve had a chance to enjoy them. Colombian spices are lacking- the dish tastes good but incomplete.
And now you’re waiting for your dessert. The famous Vuelta d’Espana, “the cherry on top of the cake”. It has all the right ingredients to be something special:
1.Nairo-man: normally a dominant ingredient, the fresh winner of Vuelta a Burgos looks to be in a strong position to win his 2nd Grand Tour of the year.
2. A bit of Rigo-gogo Uran is stirred in: keeping a low profile in Tour L’Ain, he’s quietly building his form.
3. Julian Arredondo is an active flavour trying to come through where possible: after a disappointing Tour of Poland it’s anyone’s guess how well he’ll fare on Spanish roads.
4. Serpa and Anacona add subtle overtones: within the team of Lampre, they will possibly be fighting for stage wins. Fellow Colombian Chaves will be aiming to give an equally subtle yet (stage) winning performance for Australian Orica.
5. A surprise ingredient that if wrongly prepared could be better left out is the “enfant terrible” of Colombian cycling, Carlos Betancur, winner of the prestigious Paris-Nice. He was one of the favourites for the Tour de France but didn’t show and is currently in appalling form after finishing dead last in Vuelta de Burgos.
While the Colombia pro cycling platter is off the menu, other dishes to look out for are riders Froome, hungry for vengeance after crashing out of the Tour, Contador, Aru, Martin, Kelderman, Gesink and maybe some new faces.
You don’t have long to wait for your meal as the Vuelta starts on August 23, in Jerez de la Frontera. You will have until September 14 to savour the dish before the riders cross the finish line at Santiago de Compostela.
Bring it on-I’m already getting hungry.
By Arek Peryt