Footage of a mother ‘motivating’ her son as he tackles one of cycling’s most feared climbs has gone viral in Spain after the rider posted it to YouTube.
Iván Muñoz, who is preparing for the national sprint triathlon championships, was on a family trip from Madrid to Asturias and decided to take on the Alto de l’Angliru.
The 12.5-kilometre climb has an average gradient of 10.1 per cent and a maximum one of 23.5 per cent – and his mother was filming the 21-year-old student as he approached that ramp.
With 10 kilometres of the climb already under his belt, what he probably didn’t need was his mother to shout out to him: “Iván, the bit coming now is much harder.“
Initially, he could only answer, “Eh?”
“The next bit is much harder,” she repeated.
“Bloody hell, Mum. Thanks!”
“You’ll see. I’m only trying to give you some advice.”
Mind you, from the way her son began to struggle after rounding that bend, it does look like she had a point.
One commenter on YouTube said: “Haha, poor thing – it’s normal, but at moments like these you just feel like giving the bloody bike a kick.”
Pablo De Vicente added: “She says it because she loves him. But what if he falls off or gets mental fatigue? She’ll say: ‘I told you so’ …”
The video has been picked up by media across Spain, striking a chord with the public because (even if they haven’t climbed the Angliru), people can relate Iván’s experience to their own, with one commenter saying, “This mother is every mother, hahaha!”
Or, as El Espanol puts it: “The spontaneity and comedy of the moment perfectly sums up the essence of every mother, halfway between overprotection and unconditional support.”
Happily, Iván made it to the summit – and his mother was very happy and proud of his achievement.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.