sábado, 1 de diciembre de 2012

Millar and Delgado. The last fight. Bonette 1993.

The 1993 Tour de France was a very hard one with long time trials and difficult mountain stages. The Alps were crossed before the Pyrenees and the owner of the race was Miguel Indurain as usual, after his performance in the time trial of  Lac de Madine, where all his rivals were more than two minutes ahead.

In the first Alpine stage Indurain and Rominger exploded the race dropping the Italians Bugno and Chiapucci

Photo http://www.jms7.com/heroes/19912000.htm
Only the motorola duo, Hampsten and especially Mejia, Zenon Jaskula and with more than 3 minutes lost, the rider of the ONCE squad Erik Breukink, survived.

But our couple were looking for their moment and that moment appeared during the next stage, one of the toughest ever, from Serre Chevalier to Isola 2000

Profile Javifuertes

It was a very difficult stage, so the group rode in calm during the first two climbs, and when the giant of the day started there was a breakaway, with two wellknown riders, Delgado and Millar.

The Scottish rider forced the pace and only Delgado , who was the domestique of Indurain , could take his wheel.

Photo Antonio Sevillano

Behind them the CLAS team was setting the tempo for Rominger and some favourites were suffering , such as Bugno and Breukink.

But Millar was not happy with his partner and forced the pace as much as possible

Photo Alex_Zuelle
........till Delgado dropped.

Millar rode alone to the summit

 where he was first, and Delgado was caught by a reduced group with only ten riders, Delgado would work for Indurain in the valley and Millar would be caught in the first kilometers of the last climb.
Delgado dropped once the climb started, he had done a good job for his leader Indurain.

Millar had won their last fight, but that was not enough for the Scottish, who was dropped during the climb, but rejoined the group with four kilometres left................and attacked.

Nobody chased him, and for moments it seemed that Millar could win his first Alpine stage ever in the Tour, but surprisingly with a little more than two kilometers to go Indurain forced and finally cauht him. It was a strange attitude for the Spaniard, perhaps he wanted the stage.....................minutes later he gave the stage as a present to Rominger..............

Photo bikeraceinfo.com
It was difficult to understand, but Rominger had won the second Alpine stage too.

Then came the Pyrenees and Delgado worked for Indurain,........, Millar didn´t have a chance like in the Alps, the Pyrenees wouldn´t be his temple as in other Tours.

Rominger and Indurain were not as strong as they had been in the Alps but only Jaskula kept their wheel, winning a great stage at Saint Lary Soulan.

In the last time trial Rominger surprised everyone winning the stage.........Indurain was ill but he kept the yellow without difficulty. The final podium was......Indurain, Rominger and Jaskula:

Photo cobblesandhills.wordpress.com

Delgado finished in a top ten position ( as usual in his grand Tour participations), 9th, and Millar finished in a good 24th. It was their last Tour.

The last fight of Millar and Delgado had finished, a great duel, especially in the 80s. All of us will remember them.
As you have seen, we have not spoken about the Vuelta 1985

That is the duel that made them famous as rivals, but we´ve prefered to chose this duel and four previous ones.

Part I. Bagneres de Luchon 1983.
Part II. Guzet Neige 1984.
Part III. Pau 1986.
Part IV. Superbagneres 1989.

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