In the 14th lap, Tristan's in seventh. By the 17th, he's in sixth.
"He can taste it," Jay says. He laughs.
As the final lap begins, Tristan's in sixth. "Good boy, good boy," Jay mutters. "Stay tight. Good boy."
Tristan passes a cart. He's in fifth. He buzzes around the driver in fourth. If there had been 30 seconds more, he'd move up, maybe to third. But the race ends.
Tristan has secured fifth.
Still laughing and shaking his head in disbelief, Jay walks down from the hill to find Tristan. He won't be going to Italy, but he raced like hell. There are congratulations to be had.
Jay walks back on the long, hot concrete stretch of sidewalk to the tent. He says, "Now he's got to learn to do that every time."