Kapelmuur Racing Series. Stage 1. The report.
The forecast promised a nice warm day, those with that end-of-winter scent, a perfect day to start our Kapelmuur Racing Series.
But we know well what clear skies mean this time of the year: the mornings are chilly in turn.
It’s 8:30 and the first cars show up at the meeting point, when the first bikes come out of the boots some riders seem to regret wearing short bibs.
Is it too cold? Never mind, you never race in long bibs, and if you’re cold you just push harder.
Everyone is excited, eager to race; nothing serious, but it is fun to put yourself to the test after months not feeling the adrenaline up to you. The current situation, always present, keeps everyone next to their cars. Everyone respects the rules, masks on and bike tuning while they wait for their time slot.
At 9, and every five minutes, the teams line up. Some roll out slowly for the first part, neutralized, while others start from zero to sixty, burning with desire.
First k’s, first flats and some wrong turns throw the aspirations of some teams overboard. Like our friends, the Fourier Boyz, sure that they were fated to rank first in the stage.
But some kilometers behind, the battle begins. As we start to climb Canteras, where the first KOM points are decided, three riders of the “Team Venezuela” climb fairly easily. Three? What a shame seeing one of the favored teams losing a member so early. Oh, wait, is that thing at the top a Venezuelan flag? Edwin Yair has given his intentions.
Further ahead the first riders show up at the NASA Complex. First bit by bit, then, all of a sudden, all the teams emerge one after another, flying on the broken road of Colmenar del Arroyo, building momentum to climb Almenara. Three teams, almost four, huddle together in the battle to be the first at the top. But this hill, oh my friends, apparently smooth and easy, does not spare if you gave too much up until this point.
Almenara decides, and the flat road to the next town, condemns. Another favored team, the squadra wearing number 1, is aware of this. By the time the first houses sketch on the horizon, they are second to none.
No rest, there’s a turn and a ramp, no one will wait for you if you’re not ready.
Almojón is the next hill climb and Edwin Yair is clear about this, there are 12 points at stake today and they will be his.
Following in the ranking, his teammates, Deins and Leangel, and his very serious competitors, Kike, Elías, Talavera or Moreno won’t make it easy at all for him.
The actual situation is thrilling, we see the teams passing by, but we don’t really know what the difference between them is.
Nothing is known, there is no rest. The local teams know the terrain really well, some could make the route blindfolded. The Venezuelans, race number 8… Damn! Almost take the wrong turn! But they give no truce, going haywire until the finish line.
First and second. The Venezuelan squad and the local crew lead the chart with less than two minutes apart. But just like in any good race, there is a team undercover.
From the south, a team of triathletes (nobody’s perfect, right Billy?) comes to take the third position in Cat A, proving that flat roads and wind train you well.
On top of Cat B, our motorcyclists from Raising Champs, making it clear that there’s no secret when it comes to two wheels.
And last but not least, leading Cat C, our team number 20, the last team to join the race came to show their determination to win.
Anyhow, we know well this is not how it starts, it is how it ends. We have three stages left and still a lot to be said.
The rush of adrenaline runs, the euphoria awaken in many is the worst enemy of those at the top of the charts.
Numbers don’t lie, do they, Moreno? Today went fast, but next month will be faster.