There’s a church at the bottom of the climb: the Basílica de Santa María la Real de Covadonga. As the riders skirted past it I felt sure that Carlton Kirby, Eurosport commentator extraordinaire, would make reference to it. That the riders might be wise to offer a prayer before the climb. That divine intervention might be handy. Instead, he fixated on the two massive bell-towers.
The easy option would be to describe Alejandro Valverde as a “Marmite” cyclist. But that would be playing right into the hands of the marketing people at Unilever, who have us evoking their product every time we encounter a thing that provokes a response in people, one way or another. Those clever bastards.