How do you say goodbye to your first Chihuahua?
Speed merchant Javier Benitez (Contentpolis-AMPO) won the sprint in the final etapa, beating Takashi Miyazawa (Meitan) and Cristian Benenati (ISD).
There was a group of escapados but they were caught, hog-tied and whipped with old bicycle chains. Well, okay they were just caught– that was enough punishment.
The 120k run from Delicias to Chihauhua was largely a ceremonial affair. Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing) took home the overall classification by six seconds over Gregorio Ladino (Tecos Trek). Ladino also earned himself a high place on the Michael Rasmussen poop list for having wiped out the Dane’s podium shot.
Benitez proved to be the fastest sprinter in the Chihuahua, winning three stages to go with the three he snatched last year. That pretty much makes him Mr. Chihuahua. He’s good for free tequila shots in this town for life. Only a tactical miscalculation prevented him from winning four.
The crazy day-glo green jersey goes to Sevilla who took the opportunity to rail against the forces of darkness and evil. “Despite the hypocrisy that exists in the world of cycling, I’m still winning, ” he said. A reference to his alleged involvement in the Operacion Puerto doping ring?
And so the champagne has been popped, podium girls kissed, photo-ops taken and fish tacos devoured. The chihuahua-toting Hollywood stars have all departed. Sexy actress and underwear model Aracely Arambula is nowhere to be seen.
The Frito Bandito, whose bold raid of the stage 2 feed zone enlivened the race, has disappeared. The fourth Vuelta Ciclista a Chihuahua is over, the race of the yapping toy dog has gone silent. The pinata is smashed and los ninos have scarfed the candy.
And yet, we are not sad or forlorn. We’ve had our chuckles, seen some great racing, picked up some chihuahua lore, historical facts and local color. Make no mistake: the Chihuahua is getting bigger — don’t be surprised to see the World Championship here in five years. They ran a great race, the scenery and terrain are fantastic and the underwear show was simply top-notch. Was there lingerie in Mendrisio — doubt it.
Time to say adios but how? Feels like like we should leave with a song playing in our heads? A hip-hop version of La Cucaracha? That sassy Shakira covered in motor oil grease and writhing around?
Two good choices but we’ve chosen a track from out favorite Spanish-singing alt rock band, Monte Negro. Doubly perfect when you consider their guitarist is of Japanese and Chinese descent — a special nod to todays’ second place finisher, Takashi Miyazawa.
Compadres, we’re closing the puerto on this years Chihuahua. It’s been doggone fun. Now turn up the music.