Jens Voigt. An almost stage win in US Pro Cycling Challenge.
Jens Voigt, the man in chrome silver, going for gold in Colorado. A mile high metaphor. Bang, he drops his break-buddy Ben Jacques-Maynes like Ben Out-Of-Gas.
Jens going solo to soak up the roadside adulation all to himself, bath in it, marinate in the good vibrations. Extroverts love a good standing ovation.
Double his race number 21 and you have his age, 42, 11 months. The man is an animal, a freak, a Germanic hitman, there’s no give-up in his gut. Besides, if he retires he has to go home and care for six kids. By comparison, getting into a breakaway is easy stuff.
Voigt has his jaw wide open like he wants to kill something with his teeth. Ripe the little rabbit to bloody shreds. Shut Up Jaws, no time for cannabalism right this second, bike race on.
Jens has his own private motorcade escort of cars and motorcycles, police and photographers and race commissars and VIPS in race Media cars taking a close-up of Jens, attacking, attacking, attacking.
He has a 1:20 minute gap with 10 miles to go. What would Jensie do? Keep pedaling his godaamn bike as hard as he can.
Voigt whipping down the suburban streets of Colorado Springs. Howdy, folks, love to stop for a glass of lemonade but I aim to win this here stage. A Jelly Belly web commecial interrupts our live stream. Jelly beans? Old man Jens Voigt is about to defy age, gravity and peloton for one last time for godsakes.
He has 1:25 with 9 miles to go. Sprint teams ramping it up to break his heart and ruin his retirement gift to himself and his fans. Surely there is a Fountain of Youth in Colorado Springs and Jens has taken a gallon for his water bottles.
Jens looping back out of town on the circuits and up into the Garden of the Gods. He’s knifing between the red rock formations, he’s rocking on his bike, a man possessed. Under the KOM banner again, he’s still chugging along, never mind the chasing mad dogs behind him and still out of sight.
They know he’s a genuine, stone-cold badass. Jens Voigt sends shivers up their spines. In this years’ Tour of California they made Jens angry. “I’m the most feared rider in the world. 50 guys have been told, if Jens goes, you go with him. And the other 50 guys have been told, don’t let Jens go, no matter what happens, don’t let Jens go. I was marked by a hundred riders,” said Voigt on the last day in California.
The miles tick down, the gap shrinks but hope refuses to cry Uncle. 6.7 miles, 1:05 gap. Coming down. 6 miles and a 1:05 gap, 5 miles and 1:00.
Has the peloton miscalculated, is this a slice of cake for Jens? Doubtful, they’re drilling it. 4.2 miles, 50 seconds, 3.7 miles, 50 secs in front.
The Trek Factory Racing car pulls alongside — they’re promising him a chromed silver car, a chromed silver motoctorcyle, a chromed silver lawnmower for a victory. They’ll chrome one of his kids, if that’s what Jens wants.
He’s still hammering the pedals in defiance, the way that Fabian Cancellara would and Andy Schleck wouldn’t.
3 miles, 35 seconds. 2.2 miles, 25 seconds, 1.8 miles, 20 secs.
Is this really the end?
Time and the raging peloton have caught Voigt with .4 miles to go. Italian sprinter Elia Viviani of Cannondale-Garmin wins the stage but it’s old man Jens Voigt who steals the entire show. He soft-pedals in to the finish, wiping the sweat from his face, waving a weary arm to the fans.
He took his shot, Jens Voigt-style, he went down pedaling hard and they always love a gunslinger in Colorado. Even one who is four days from retirement.
Qioet week, What the fuck. I was suffering like a pig everyday. It looks like I’m the most feared rider int he world. 50 guys have been told, if Jens goes, you go with him. And the other 50 guys have been tolod, don’t let Jens go, no matter what happens, don’t let Jens go. I was marked by a hundred riders.