Cycling is not a sport conducive to streaks; there are too many factors at play, too many things that could go wrong or go right, too many riders competing for a single win.
In other sports, it can be different. In English football, Liverpool and Manchester City both won 17 consecutive games in the Premier League, in international rugby union, New Zealand has won 18 games in a row before, while tennis player Novak Djokovic once won 43 matches in a row.
Winning streaks are not unheard of in cycling, but they are unusual, reserved for true greats: Marianne Vos won eight races in a row in 2011, while Eddy Merckx managed five victories consecutively in 1972. It doesn’t happen often, there are too many competing interests, let alone injury or illness.
On Wednesday’s opening stage of the Vuelta a Andalucía, 119 riders from 17 different teams set out to try and do something. They didn’t all expect to win, of course, but many would have hoped to be in the final move, or leave their mark on the race.
However, one of them is different to the others. He’s able to do things that the ordinary cyclists next to him are unable to do; he can beat fate to ensure he wins multiple races in a row.
You have to wonder what his rivals thought when Tadej Pogačar attacked on the final climb of stage one – the Despiernacaballos. It was probably, simply: "Here we go again."
Just like on Monday at the Jaén […]
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