João Correia and Inigo Cuesta. Out and out?
My two favorite ex-Cervelo fellows are off the back and in trouble.
João Correia lived out the aging athlete’s fantasy by quitting his big bucks publishing job, training like a maniac and then at age 35, catching a ride with Cervelo. His diary was a must-read for anybody who wanted to step into his Sidis and feel what it was like to be thrown into the pro peloton.
He admitted that Cervelo had signed him not so much to win races as to win fans with his amazing story. He hadn’t raced in 10 years and left a career behind and his wife and son at home in the states to give his dream a shot. “I think I gave the team more publicity than any rider, except Thor (Hushovd) and Carlos (Sastre).”
We talked with João on Ocean Beach in San Francisco just before the start of the Tour of California stage to Santa Cruz. He said he felt good but also that the day-in, day-out speed the pros can handle was a tough adjustment that took more than a season of physiological adaption. If memory serves, he dropped out a stage or two later. It was the same story at the Tour de Suisse.
Now, in the aftermath of the Cervelo Garmin merger, it appears that there isn’t a place for Correia. “I will not race for just any price,” Correia told Portuguese wire service Lusa. It was a short ride for João Correia, one and done.
Just the opposite for 41 year old Inigo Cuestra who began his career back in 1994. This season he rode his 17th consecutive Vuelta a Espana and still hopes for one last Vuelta before retiring.
The Spaniard has earned a certain degree of wisdom after riding so many roads in the service of others. This is one of our favorite quotes of his: “I maintain the illusion of the first day [on the bike] and so far I can still easily go out and train,’ he said.
A beautiful, zen nugget of wisdom. Here is hoping that João Correia gets an offer and turns it down (wife will be thrilled) and that Inigo gets that last sweet ride, number 18.