July 7, 2012
Tour de Farce
I've been a fan of cycling since the seventies and ever since I was a kid around that time. Cycling is mostly a television sport if you ask me. I've stood alongside the road watching the professionals cruise by. It takes 20 to 30 seconds and then the show's over. On tv however you can watch a tactical battle unfold for hours sometimes, but that's not what I want to highlight with this blog. Expressing my concern is.
Yesterday I saw a horrific crash, again, in the Tour de France. It seems to be standard that in the first week of the Tour de France riders get into accidents. It's been happening for years now - and it's not funny anymore. I realize that in a competitive game like cycling accidents can happen but there should be a limit, plain and simple. Last year Wouter Weylandt died in the Giro D'Italia and he wasn't the first professional cyclist to have an untimely death.
The Tour de France was in stage 6 yesterday on generally flat terrain. One error by a rider and the compact peloton that rode slightly down hill collapsed in on itself, leaving some 40 riders on the ground, many seriously injured. Broken bones, broken ribs, ruptured kidneys and spleens. I must ask, how far do you have to go for your sport?
The joy of watching a fascinating sport simply disappears when I see so many people injured. So many accidents also takes away the competitiveness in this branch of athletics. Why? Because when you have so many crashes it becomes a lottery! You can train all year, eat healthy, get your gear just the way you like and perform at the utmost your body will allow but if a rider crashes in front of you or hits you from the side - it's game over. Surviving crashes becomes a matter of luck, not skill. And if you have to depend on luck then it can hardly be called a sport anymore.
Cycling needs to contemplate about its future..