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:
- Attack over the top of the last short climb. Take a quick look behind. Shit, it worked.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.