Monday, October 22, 2007

Weekend in Portugal

I went to Portugal to for the inauguration of my godfather's bust. Antonio (Alves) Barbosa competed in four Tour de France's and was 10th in 1956. It was a fun occasion and I was accompanied by one of my closest friends Ricardo Scheidecker as well as future Ceramica Flaminia rider Ricardo Martins and Discovery rider Sergio Paulinho. We got to do some riding together and one of the highlights was a ride with Joaquim Gomes one of Porugal's greatest riders. Always a lot of fun since you hear the stories of the days when he used to race. In this particular trip he told us about a Dauphine Libere of 93 or 94 where he finished 10th. In one particular mountainous and long stage he found himself in the lead group with his faithful domestique of the day Jose Rosa. He told us that he was out of water and asked Rosa to go back to the cars and and get him some. Unfortunately Rosa never came back. About 45 minutes after the stage ends and he is showered, dressed and laying in bed he hears the habitual footsteps of cycling cleats on wooden floors. Clack, clack, clack. The door to his room opens and there is his Rosa coming into the room. Without skipping a beat, he reaches into his rear pocket takes out a full water bottle and says "here's your water" - Loyal to the end laughs Gomes.