There’s no denying it now: It is well and truly road season. The girls of BDIPC have eased back into the swing of things by enjoying the first of the stage races in Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, and we now find ourselves anxiously anticipating Milan-San Remo, the first Monument of the season. Monday, we watched Peter Sagan outsprint Nibali and Purito after conquering the #sadomaso climbs that defeated so many, and though we watched him win atop many a mountain last seas on, it finally broke the spell. We realized that we’ve been placing an unfair amount of emphasis on the Dudes who excel at getting (it) up, and we have completely neglected the Dudes who descend like our panties in the presence of pros. But as any Dude can tell you, lacking the skills to go down successfully may make a moot point out of how well he got up there in the first place.
Though he must also be strong, Milan-San Remo is the rare course where how a Dude goes down is more important than how well he climbs. None of the peaks are terribly long or awfully hard; rather, it is the descents of le Mànie, the Cipressa, and the Poggio that will show us which of them are truly capital-D Dudes. When the bunch turns west, the scent of the ocean will fill their lungs for the rest of the race, and we at BDIPC suppose that perhaps they should take their cues from that olfactory memory. Going down–descending–is an equal mix of technical knowledge and innate ability, an intuition, a way of using not only one’s eyes and hands, but also reading the road’s reactions, its responses to one’s particular method of handling. A Dude must never become complacent, because the smallest error may bring him to a complete standstill, and momentum means everything when it comes to this, one day, one shot.
In the world according to BDIPC, this Dude has already earned his upper-case D, and so we are looking forward to many, many more years of objectifying Sagan and his skills. Yet some take issue with Sagan. They see his victory celebrations as immature braggadocio, whereas we read them as a deserved display of unbridled emotion. Besides, the implication of inexperience that comes with chalking his behavior up to his youth seems unnecessarily dismissive. See, the 2013 season is young, yet Sagan has already bested Cavendish in a sprint finish, won two stages apiece at the Tour of Oman and Tirreno-Adriatico, taken second place at Strade Bianche, and now he is heading into Milan-San Remo as the odds-on favorite. In fact, the only thing Peter’s gotten wrong so far this year was his victory salute in Porto Sant’Elpido. But as ever, we’d be pleased to help right that wrong by conducting a complete appreciation of each of his appendages. All five of them.
BDIPC is off to NYC for a little unsanctioned fun this weekend. See you back in Belgium for E3, Gent-Wevelgem, and Ronde van Vlaanderen.