La liga de la justicia del ciclismo

292
Ilustración: Gabriel Ramón Pérez.

Juan Carlos Hurtado Fonseca
@Aurelianolatino

Luego de culminadas las cuatro grandes pruebas del ciclismo mundial en 2018: el Giro de Italia, el Tour de Francia, la Vuelta a España y el Campeonato Mundial de Ciclismo en Ruta en Innsbruck, Austria, el balance para los corredores colombianos se puede calificar como muy bueno.

Y es que a pesar de no haber ganado una de las grandes y de las críticas de algunos periodistas y de hinchas en redes sociales, el desempeño de los corredores pertenecientes a equipos Word Tour está muy por encima de temporadas anteriores, ratificando que este deporte se encuentra en sus años dorados, al punto que en la juventud la fiebre por ver y practicar esta disciplina ha crecido.

Esa misma afición que apoya incondicionalmente, ha apodado a los ciclistas como superhéroes hollywoodenses.

Rigoneitor

Uno de los más importantes triunfos del pedalista antioqueño Rigoberto Urán, Rigoneitor, es la medalla de plata alcanzada en los Juegos Olímpicos de Londres en 2012. Aunque también entre sus proezas están dos podios en el Giro de Italia en 2013 y 2014, y un segundo lugar en el Tour de Francia 2017.

A muy temprana edad inició corriendo en Europa y ha sufrido accidentes compitiendo y entrenando que le han propiciado nueve fracturas. Sin embargo, ha pasado por grandes equipos como Team Tenax, Omega Pharma, Sky Procycling y Cannondale, actualmente conocido como Education First-Drapac.

Los accidentes hacen parte de su acumulada experiencia pues ha sufrido caídas que le han dejado fracturas de clavícula, codos, cúbito, delicadas cirugías y recomendaciones médicas para que no vuelva a correr. Meses después está nuevamente entrenando, tal vez por cumplir con la promesa que hizo en el ataúd de su padre asesinado por paramilitares: Pedalear hasta el fin del mundo.

En 2018 abandonó Francia luego de una fuerte caída.

Nairomán 

Hace años, cuando Nairo Quintana, Nairomán, de madrugada montaba en su bicicleta -con un morral en la espalda- para pedalear más de 40 kilómetros desde su casa en Cómbita hasta Duitama o Sogamoso en Boyacá, e inmediatamente iniciar una competencia, ya sabía que sus esfuerzos no serían en vano. Lo hacía porque -a diferencia del resto de competidores- no contaba con los recursos económicos ni el patrocinio para desplazarse.

Y estos esfuerzos no serían en vano porque Nairomán es otro de los ganadores del Tour del Avenir, la competencia más importante del mundo para jóvenes, proeza hecha en el año 2010. Ganó el Giro de Italia en 2014 y, venciendo a Froome, ganó la Vuelta a España en 2016. En 2018 ganó una de las más importantes etapas del Tour, en el que fue décimo, fue octavo en España, carrera por la que iba, y quedó 15 en el Campeonato Mundial de Ruta. Este palmarés no solo lo convierte en el mejor corredor latinoamericano de la historia, sino que lo pone en el puesto 61 de la Clasificación de los 100 mejores ciclistas de todos los tiempos, del Salón de la Fama del Ciclismo, organismo dependiente de la Unión Ciclista Internacional, UCI.

Supermán López

Paradójicamente, el apodo Supermán, Miguel Ángel López no lo obtuvo por sus condiciones físicas. Lo ganó porque en Boyacá no se dejó robar su bicicleta por tres ladrones, aunque se ganó una puñalada en una de sus piernas.

Fue fichado por Astana en 2015. Había sido visto por primera vez por un técnico en 2011 en una carrera en Sogamoso que corrió aunque solo tres días antes había montado por primera vez en una bicicleta de carreras. Fue fácil darse cuenta de su clase y sus dotes, por lo que lo invitó a hacer parte de un club. Quince días después estaba compitiendo en la Vuelta del Porvenir, en la que ocupó el puesto 13 entre más de 200 participantes.

Su actuación en el presente año se puede resumir en que junto a él solo tres ciclistas estuvieron en dos podios de las tres grandes carreras del ciclismo. Froome, Dumoulin y Supermán López. El colombiano fue tercero en Italia y España.

El puma Atapuma

No solo las condiciones físicas de estos corredores los han llevado a donde están, también sus fortalezas mentales y espirituales, es así como Darwin “el puma” Atapuma en 2015 decidió continuar en el Giro de Italia cuando le avisaron la muerte de su madre: “Me duele el corazón. Más que el cansancio es el dolor, el dolor de perder a mi madre, pero ella es la que me da las fuerzas y he decidido seguir acá en el Giro para darle la felicidad a ella. Ese era su anhelo”. En esta ocasión quedó en el lugar 16 en la general.

El nariñense ha militado en equipos colombianos y desde 2014 ha sido gregario en europeos como el BMC Racing Team y UAE Team Emirates donde ha tenido destacadas ubicaciones como el puesto 9 en Italia en 2016. En 2018 corrió Italia y Francia.

La bestia

Egan Bernal, La bestia, es un zipaquireño de 21 años que a muy temprana edad fue contratado por un equipo europeo. Su mote fue dado por el periódico deportivo Marca cuando en una de sus notas en la que lo refería, tituló: “La ‘bestia’ que viene”. Esta decía que había sido llevado a estudios fisiológicos donde le encontraron unas condiciones excepcionales, pues en la prueba de consumo máximo de oxígeno, VO2Max, obtuvo 88.8 mililitros por kilo de peso, que a los 19 años es grandioso. Según la información facilitada por Chris Froome y su equipo, el triple ganador del Tour dio 88,2 mililitros en 2015 y 84.6 en 2007, con 22 años. Miguel Indurain alcanzó 92 y Alejandro Valverde ha llegado a los 87.

Los halagos y las condiciones fueron respaldados con triunfos del corredor. Entre los principales está el Tour del Avenir en 2017 con lo que se ratificó su fichaje por el Team Sky a partir de 2018. Y este año ganó Colombia Oro y Paz, la contrarreloj del Campeonato Nacional de Ciclismo, el Tour de California y fue un gran escudero de Froome en Francia donde obtuvo la casilla 15.

En 2019 habrá 20 corredores colombianos en equipos Word Tour y seguramente como gregarios o capos harán destacados papeles. Como país las expectativas y esperanzas están puestas en la liga de la justicia del ciclismo nacional, que seguirá dejando en alto el nombre de los deportistas colombianos, muchas veces maltratados en su propio país.

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