If you've been following this blog for the last few weeks, you know that I was ready to take the credit for Gaviria winning Milan-San Remo, since I explained the race to him in great detail. To quote myself from an earlier post:
...when I was on the phone with Fernando Gaviria, we ended up talking about different races in Europe. Which ones he knew about and enjoyed, though he pretty much refused to say which one would suit him. It was in that context that I asked him about Milan-San Remo, but he doesn't know the race, and hasn't seen it. I found myself excitedly telling him about the race, it's length, the final climbs, how the finish usually works...only to realize how preposterous the whole thing was. I was describing a bike race to a guy who could actually win the thing one day, all based on my "experience" after years of watching it on TV, as well as my reconnaissance ride a few years back atop this amazing rental steed.
Imagine my surprise this past Saturday, when I realized that Gaviria was in the group coming into the finish, and more than likely was set to win. Of course, we all now know what happened. Gaviria crashed, was rightly distraught over it, and apologized for loosing his concentration for a couple of seconds.
Of course, Gaviria is the best source of information for what happened. But when you look at the crash again, you'll no doubt see that Greg Van Avermaet (in front of Gaviria) changes his line (screen right to left) and takes him out. One Mr. Tanaka, friend of the blog, pointed this out to me.
Yes Gaviria was half-wheeling...but that's a concern for weekend warriors during weekend rides, not during a race. And yes, he probably lost his concentration, keeping him from following Van Avermaet accordingly. So if he says it was his fault, I believe him. And Van Avermaet didn't do something insanely wrong either, he was following a wheel too, which led him in that direction. But when you look at it again, I don't think you can fully say that Gaviria's crash was a thoroughly stupid rookie mistake either. Can you? Am I seeing things this way because I'm Colombian and I happen to like Gaviria? And because maybe I think I can take credit for how well he did in the race, by coming in with that final group? Maybe. What do you think? Watch the gif below and let me know (though I know there are far more important files worth looking at in terms of this race).