Image Image

Ruta del Sol - day 1

Thursday, Feb 18, 2016 in Pro Cycling

If you check the startlist of Vuelta Andalucia, it could quickly arise the question what a small team from the Saarland has to do in a race with lots of teams out of the 1st league of the world of cycling

But then you would also come to the point quite soon that this small team has obviously a certain attractivity and to be interesting for spectators, organisers and media at the same time. With its unique concept to develop African cycling, but as well with its current development.

But often it gets clear pretty soon, where exactly the difference between these “two worlds” is. Easily spoken, you could say: it is the money. As most of the teams at the start line have a yearly budget from about 4 million Euro to the leading Team SKY with around 30 Million Euro, the small team out of the Saarland would already be happy with a very small percentage of this money.

But this is only the half part of the truth. It gets also clear very quickly, that the team has already done many races at almost the same level but to a very different time of the year. And the difference between the “champions league” and the third league could never be bigger than now.

It is an honour for the whole team to receive invitation to this race but also a huge challenge at the same time. Where the organisation of all logistics part or service course is no big deal for all big teams (as their total number of employees is about 70 to 90 persons in total), in the Saarland few people put all what they have together to make all this possible. In addition, two of the riders had to abandon the race before they even started. Big pity that it were the foreseen captains for the team in this race. Niko Holler occurred a heavy inflammation in his knee that made it impossible for him to start and Jean Bosco Nsengiman from Rwanda did not get his Visa in time.

What has left after the first stage is a mix of disappointing and hope. Dissapointing, because the team lost with Meron Teshome and Timo Schäfer already two riders at the first stage. The first crashed badly and the latter had a mechanical problem and to face at the first KOM that this is the end of the race.

But there is also hope. Hope that the other three riders will do their very best to stand the fight David vs. Goliath as long and as good as possible. Surely we have to keep an eye on Amanuel Mengis from Eritrea how he will develop during the rest of the race!

result 1st stage Ruta del Sol