I recognised the scene pretty well and knew that such an event only takes place because they can't pay or they have some demand to make of us.
Anyway, after an excellent grilled chicken and some chat of started the speeches which went something like this:
"Blah blah blah, no money, pay you "amanha", blah, blah, blah."
"doing us proud, fighting spirit, pay you "amanha"
"The first all Portuguese team, well no, nearly, except Tomás, but he's an okay worker."
I am actually the best worker as voted by my colleagues in the peloton. Plus I have never been given an opportunity to race for myself.
"bla, blah, blah, we need a Portuguese winner for the Volta a Portugal, so not Tomás, hahaha!"
One man, sorry about the situation actually came up and apologized, even gave me a hug -I think he was the only person in that room who realized the seriousness of the situation...
I beamed a broad smile throughout the proceedings. It wasn't an ironic smile, it was a victorious smile. Victorious because I've thought not a few moves ahead, I am several games ahead.
They say a captain should go down with the ship, however guess who are the first I have identified scurrying from the sinking ship? Yep, you've got it ;-).
Starring at the obvious I thought I would compile a list of facts on why a British cyclist is an important asset:
- The United Kingdom is the 6th largest economy in the world. 1
- Britain ranks 4st in the world for ease of doing business. 2
- The UK has seen a 25% growth rate in 2010 for bicycle imports.3
- Britain is a market of 62M million people.4
- The UK cycle market is worth 2100000000 £.5
- Britain has a projected growth of 2.3% in 2012. 6
- 16% growth in British Cycling memberships 09-107
So where is Portugal in these statistics?
Plus I only remember of one company stating an aim to invest in Portugese cycling and guess what, it's British:
So there you have it, just a spinet of what I have to tollerate.