THE UNEXPECTED AT THE VAL DI SOLE WC
The legendary venue of Val di Sole (Italy) hosted the second round of the UCI Trials World Cup 2019 the 24th and 25th of August. After one month since the last competition all the riders were ready to race. As always in this area, the you can not trust any weather forecast since it is always changing so the riders did not know what to expect, if a wet, slippery and muddy sections or dry and grippy sections. Tarrés flew from Barcelona to Bergamo (Milano) with Eloi Palau, Sergi Llongueras and Marc Terol. Then they drove to Vermiglio, the town where the competition was. Pol Tarrés commented that he felt really strong both physcal and mental, since he trained a lot during the last month and he also liked all the sections but number 3. The one crossing 6 times the small river.
The 26” semifinals started at 11:00 am. It was a sunny day and the sections were almost dry from the night rain. Tarrés started with a magnificent 60 points on the first section, and kept going with another 60 and two 50s. The last section of the first lap was the river one. He made a mistake and could only add 20 points to the first lap, finishing with a total of 240 and 10th position but tied with 5 more riders so there was chance for a spot into the final.
The second lap Pol Tarrés did the same score but at the river section he could get 10 more points so it made a total of 250 in the second lap and 490 in total. With these points he made it to the 7th position but he had a time penalty of -40 points. This left him in 10th position and also 10th position in the overall standings with only one World Cup left this year, also in Italy, the second week of October.
“After one month without competing I was hungry for it. I felt really strong since I trained a lot and I also felt mentally prepared. During the competition I would say I was 98% of the time really focused and the feeling was as if I was flying over the sections. The problem was the 2% left. Two mistakes in the same section kicked me out of the finals. I think the level was too easy and the results were really tight, you could not make a mistake and I did so I did not entered the finals. Now time to learn from this and keep up the work for the rest of the season.” — POL TARRÉS
THE WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE
After the UCI Trials World Cup in Val Di Sole, Eloi Palau, Sergi Llongueras and Marc Terol and I had a free day because our flight back home was Monday night. We decided to go to the Presena Glacier. We took two cable cars and after being there we hike to the top of a little mountain, 150 metres far from the cable car.
After we reached the top, Eloi and Sergi entered a cave and 2 minutes after we heard a strong explosion coming from the cave. It hit both Eloi and Sergi, it was a bomb from the First World War. You could imagine the stress of the moment. After 25 long minutes the rescue team arrived and took Eloi and Sergi to the nearest hospital, in Trento. Marc and I went by car. We stayed with them trying to be as helpful as possible while we were all in shock, we couldn’t believe what just had happened.
At the hospital the doctors told us that Eloi had some burns in his legs, some dirt in his eyes and the last phalanx of one of the fingers really bad. Eloi went through surgery to try to save his finger, then they transferred to another hospital to go to surgery again, to clean his eyes. It was around 3 am when the doctors told us that everything went well and slept the rest of the night in the waiting area of the hospital. At around 7am Eloi’s parents and girlfriend arrived. In the afternoon we could talk to him and he was feeling better.
At the time I am writing this, Eloi is still in Italy, in the hospital, they will transfer next Tuesday (8 days after the incident) to a Catalan hospital. This was the worst experience of my life, after all we are really lucky since it could have happened the worst, specially to Eloi and Sergi who were hit by the bomb but also to all of us. I only hope a really fast recovery to both and to go riding again!!!