Sometimes, in the world of cycling, the stars align and you’re on top of the world. The next, it’s punching you in the stomach and stealing your wallet.
Ask every professional cyclist and they’ll tell you how up and down your luck can be in cycling.
Cadel Evans himself has experienced both ends of the spectrum. Always the bridesmaid and never quite the bride early in his road career.
Unfortunate crashes, competing against cyclists later to be found doping, and sometimes just unlucky.
Then, in 2011, nearly everything seemed to go right. Apart from a mechanical in the mountains at Le Tour that year, he rode the perfect race.
A tenacious chase up the Galibier kept him in contention for the general classification before he blew away his competitors with a whirlwind time trial that captured him the Maillot Jaune.
Richie Porte, Evans’ nemesis at times, is experiencing his own run of bad luck just as he enters maturity as a general classification rider.
Porte was meant to take over as Sky’s team leader in the 2014 Giro d’Italia but sickness saw that he didn’t.
He had a second chance at the Tour the following year when Chris Froome crashed out but a chest infection saw him unable to climb.
Now, fully fit and leading Team Sky at this year’s Giro, it seems cycling has some beef still with Porte.
A puncture early in the race saw him lose 47 seconds and then a further two minutes after receiving assistance from country-man Simon Clarke.
Now, he sits more than five minutes off the pace after he was caught up in a crash with 3.3 kilometres to go in last night’s stage.
In cycling, the race is not handed to the swift, nor the powerful, but those who persevere through trials and tribulations.
Porte’s resolve is being tested here. It’s up to him whether he throws in the towel or goes down fighting.
He has time trial tonight. A stage that, if he’s fit, he’s expected to win or, at the very least, finish in the top five such is his time trial ability.
This race still has a week to go and plenty of climbing to come. Porte’s down but not out. But now, it all depends on how much time he believes he can pull back on his rivals.