The Quick Zip Salute

Diego Ulissi did us all a service on stage 4 of the Giro. Not only did he win in the best way possible for a rouleur with a sprint – by not having to sprint – he timed his attack so perfectly that he only had time for a split-second salute, and an even quicker jersey zip-up before the line. The textbook precision of his winning routine should be the blueprint for all Pros:

  1. Attack over the top of the last short climb. Take a quick look behind. Shit, it worked.
  2. Do the Top-Tube Pedal Squat on the descent. This does bugger all to help the advantage, but looks like you’re doing all you can to stay away. One of these days someone is going to get this spectacularly wrong.
  3. Don’t look back again. This usually means you are flagging and almost expecting to be caught. The chasers use it as extra motivation to get across.
  4. When that line is in sight, take a quick peek, realise you’ve won, and zip up that jersey with a sleight of hand that would do Maradona proud.
  5. Get those arms out to the side, nice and wide, and hit the line flying. Rule the world.

This technique is perfect for so many reasons, but the most important one is it doesn’t allow any spare time for “Finishing Straight Fuck Arounds”. No hundreds of metres of looking to the sky, pointing to the sky, realising you’re on Team Sky and not actually winning, rocking babies, shooting guns or arrows, shooting guns or arrows at babies, pointing at your bony chest for some reason, and a dozen different arm movements that make you look like one of those blow up things that flap about outside used car lots and garden centres having a sale. Just get to the line, then lay down your simple, classic Jesus Christ Pose. Because if you’ve won a stage of the Giro, you are God. If just for one day.

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68 Replies to “The Quick Zip Salute”

  1. @RobSandy

    @ErikdR

    I’ve been “educating” him a bit on the subject ever since – and am sort of rediscovering the late, great R.G. myself in the process. Which I like. A lot. Amazing how well the man and his music have stood the test of time, methinks.

    My dad saw him live in the 70’s and was completely blown away, and when he thought I’d get it he played me the ‘Rory Gallagher’ album.

    Cheers! Now I feel a bit old suddenly, for some strange reason (smiley-winkey etc…): I saw Gallagher play live a couple of times in the late seventies, too (in the Netherlands; I was only in my late teens, though…) But I consider myself very fortunate for having experienced that. Seriously; the guy was phenomenal. And while he was like a whirlwind on-stage, surprisingly, he was the most soft-spoken, polite, friendly and approachable guy you’d ever be likely to meet off-stage.

    I’m afraid I’ll have to second @Bow, though: if you would have referred to R.G. as ‘British’ in, for example, Belfast in 1970, you would have been in serious trouble. While a lot of artists stayed the hell away from Northern Ireland during the times of ‘The Troubles’, Rory insisted on playing at least one gig there every year – usually in Belfast. They loved him for that – and for his music, of course. Who wouldn’t?

    I could easily expand on the subject for days as well – but won’t, except for mentioning that there is a really good documentary to be found about the guy on YouTube (called “Ghost Blues”). Highly recommendable.

  2. @anthony

    @Buck Rogers

    @anthony

    @Phillip Mercer

    @anthony

    I think I heard Ciro Scognamiglio mention that Diego Ulissi’s father was a Maradona fan hence he named his son after him.

    Yeah I heard that as well. He was named after Maradona according to Ciro. Just made me think there is probably a lot of Diego’s in Napoli around his age.

    Cheers

    Right. So do we need to give Diego Ulissi the moniker “Hand of God” now?

    I don’t no if he quite ready to take that from his name sake, but it sounds awesome!!

    Perhaps “Hand of Dog’ is better if you want to remember his little friend Salbutamol.

  3. RG’s guitar is somewhat famous in and of itself… Fender has been making a replica that’s incredibly detailed. You gotta love these guitars, SRV’s is another great ex, in which the cats had simply beat the living daylights outa them over so many years, and they show it, to make ’em sing

     

  4. @Randy C

    Ah yes, that amazingly battered-looking sunburst Strat. What an icon.

    Not too sure about this replica business, though, I must admit. Call me old-fashioned, but to me, there can be only one. (At Rory’s funeral, his brother Donal remarked that the poor guitar now looked ‘orphaned’. I thought that was very apt – Rory and his Stratocaster almost seemed to have merged into a symbiotic life-form at times).

    And you would have to be pretty sure of yourself, as an aspiring guitarist, to buy a Stratocaster that was so recognizable. Sort of like buying a road bike, painting “Froome” on the down tube and then riding it down the road while wearing a yellow jersey, perhaps. While I admire the craftsmanship, there’s something that strikes me as oddly ‘fake’ about replica’s like that. Food for thought, though…

  5. @Teocalli

    @ErikdR

    Peter Green and the original Fleetwood Mac, less is more – before he blew his mind – or at least before he had it blown for him by some dubious group in Germany.

    Not overly familiar with that particular era, I must admit – but will check it out.

    My ‘experience’ – or lack of same – with Fleetwood Mac is mostly centered around listening to “Rumours” a lot while enjoying various… erh… substances. (And, as an 18-year old at the time, having an agonizing crush on Stevie Nicks in her top hat outfits, of course…)

  6. @ErikdR

    @Teocalli

    @ErikdR

    Peter Green and the original Fleetwood Mac, less is more – before he blew his mind – or at least before he had it blown for him by some dubious group in Germany.

    Not overly familiar with that particular era, I must admit – but will check it out.

    My ‘experience’ – or lack of same – with Fleetwood Mac is mostly centered around listening to “Rumours” a lot while enjoying various… erh… substances. (And, as an 18-year old at the time, having an agonizing crush on Stevie Nicks in her top hat outfits, of course…)

    By way of covering both (FM and substances that is).  I always find this a bit chilling, the subject is the recurring nightmare he had as a result of drugs.

  7. @Bow

    @ErikdR

    @RobSandy

    @ErikdR

    I’m afraid I’ll have to second @Bow, though: if you would have referred to R.G. as ‘British’ in, for example, Belfast in 1970, you would have been in serious trouble. While a lot of artists stayed the hell away from Northern Ireland during the times of ‘The Troubles’, Rory insisted on playing at least one gig there every year – usually in Belfast. They loved him for that – and for his music, of course. Who wouldn’t?

    Fair play, I was using ‘British’ more to mean, from these islands and not American than as a label of nationality. But I take your point.

  8. @ErikdR

    @Teocalli

    @ErikdR

    Peter Green and the original Fleetwood Mac, less is more – before he blew his mind – or at least before he had it blown for him by some dubious group in Germany.

    Not overly familiar with that particular era, I must admit – but will check it out.

    My ‘experience’ – or lack of same – with Fleetwood Mac is mostly centered around listening to “Rumours” a lot while enjoying various… erh… substances. (And, as an 18-year old at the time, having an agonizing crush on Stevie Nicks in her top hat outfits, of course…)

    I’ve seen Peter Green play live. Reasonably recently. I don’t think there are a lot of people that can say that. He’d formed his Splinter group and was trying to rehbilitate himself with a little tour. And we happened to be there in Worcester on one of his good nights. He was flipping fantastic.

  9. @ErikdR

    @Randy C

    Ah yes, that amazingly battered-looking sunburst Strat. What an icon.

    Not too sure about this replica business, though, I must admit. Call me old-fashioned, but to me, there can be only one. (At Rory’s funeral, his brother Donal remarked that the poor guitar now looked ‘orphaned’. I thought that was very apt – Rory and his Stratocaster almost seemed to have merged into a symbiotic life-form at times).

    And you would have to be pretty sure of yourself, as an aspiring guitarist, to buy a Stratocaster that was so recognizable. Sort of like buying a road bike, painting “Froome” on the down tube and then riding it down the road while wearing a yellow jersey, perhaps. While I admire the craftsmanship, there’s something that strikes me as oddly ‘fake’ about replica’s like that. Food for thought, though…

    Oddly fake? It’s massively fake after all with no hard work at all done by the player but the hard work done by the cat making the guitar… Not really the way it’s meant to be. Very cool (and expensive) guitars that I can appreciate but in the end, I’m with ya 100%. Not my speed. Here’s a classic in my pile of guitars that was worn in the old fashioned way, No, not by me, but the story behind it is classic and I suspect that I’m just a temporary keeper of this gold top beauty. Cheers

  10. @Teocalli

    You know… it’s not healthy living that inspires a guy to write a song about green manalishis with two pronged crowns. I do love the Judas Priest version. But isn’t it kinda sorta like the fake replica guitars in a way? Very cool but simply lacking the true inspiration. Peter Green’s version certainly has a story behind it. Cheers.

  11. @RobSandy

    @ErikdR

    @Teocalli

    @ErikdR

    Peter Green and the original Fleetwood Mac, less is more – before he blew his mind – or at least before he had it blown for him by some dubious group in Germany.

    Not overly familiar with that particular era, I must admit – but will check it out.

    My ‘experience’ – or lack of same – with Fleetwood Mac is mostly centered around listening to “Rumours” a lot while enjoying various… erh… substances. (And, as an 18-year old at the time, having an agonizing crush on Stevie Nicks in her top hat outfits, of course…)

    I’ve seen Peter Green play live. Reasonably recently. I don’t think there are a lot of people that can say that. He’d formed his Splinter group and was trying to rehbilitate himself with a little tour. And we happened to be there in Worcester on one of his good nights. He was flipping fantastic.

    Cool.

  12. @Buck Rogers

    @Owen

    I wish that Sagan would ride the Giro!!!

    Damn that “other” upstart race that decided to run at the same time as the Giro.

    To be completely honest, most of the time I’d rather watch a short race like ToC or ToU or ToCO than a three week parade. Especially when the parade is effectively over in the first few days because everyone knows exactly how hard they have to ride and when for the rest of the time. Race radios hooked to DS in support cars is one of the worst things to ever happen to the thrill of racing, IMHO. Yes, Tour of Utah has race radios, but it’s a lot harder to get a UK Postal train going over Guardsman’s Pass than it is across the Italian countryside.

  13. @Owen

    When Sagan was winning regularly he had some pretty good ones. Cheeky, I believe the other English speaking nations would call them.

    Not so cheeky anymore. All those seconds taught him some class

     

     

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