Most of racing is what happens way before the finishing line. Yes, the mountain top or sprint finish is awesome, but the four or five hours of racing can only be thoroughly enjoyed by those who truly love and appreciate the sport. Bike positioning, energy conservation, bike handling, bumping, grinding, mechanicals, strategy, and all out skill are only a drop in the bucket to the complexity of it all. Many of you have had time to digest the finish of Tirreno-Adriatico Stage Six from yesterday and have noticed the flurry of articles that spewed into social media . . . not about the winner but about the second place finisher. If you missed it, you missed an incredible final eight kilometers.
At the 7.9 kilometer mark there was wheel touch by a rider directly in front of Peter Sagan. The rider goes down immediately. Unclipped on one pedal and with some finesse, Sagan remains up. If you have ever had the experience of this in a race or group ride, it is almost a certain crash for the trailing rider. Not only does Peter Sagan stay up, almost coming to a stop, but he begins a chase for a peloton that is hammering to the finishing line. Lead out trains are working hard and the sprinters are sitting in nicely and the tempo is crushing. Well, a video is worth a million words . . . (start about 8:15)