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May 18, 2009



haha! I wish I'd said "It seems that as some riders get older, their legs became shorter and their tongues longer.". Brilliant!

steve o'brien

It's a tough call not being there to see the actual conditions. A good race promoter takes the safety of the riders into account when creating a "thrilling" end to a race. ANy circut race and sprint has some inherent risk. The Tour is notorious for getting the group up to speed in a sprint, then throwing in a 90 degree turn to the finish - something that is doomed to make crashes happen. Cycling isn't Nascar - crashes ought not be the "thrill" spectators are looking for.

In a similiar vein, Stages have been shortened before becuase of length (even mountain finished abandoned). These racers are human, and at a time when steroid abuse needs to be checked, officials have to create races that mere humans can do wihtout chemical "help."

Sometimes the racers have to be their own advocates.


it's a great quote, isn't it Brogues? And Steve, yes, totally agree that crashes ought not to be the 'thrill' - goodness knows i've enough scars to know that crashing is not in anyway 'entertaining'! Also, yes, of course not being there to see the conditions makes it hard to judge about the desicion, but as Cipo said, he's raced on the streets of Milan lots of times before and it's never been a problem. Plus the riders who did decide to race at the finish had no difficulties that i could see, so...

And whilst, yes, of course there is a history of races being shortened and finishes abandoned, and yes, there needs to be some sense of acknowledging the demands on the human body in order to help ease the temptation for chemical assistance, that needs to be balanced against the possible loss of the status of the sport. Moments like Hampston's ride on the Gavia in the snow, or Hinault's epic Liege-Bastogne-Liege victory in 1980 are rightly regarded as the stuff of legend... Like anyone who has tried to ride a bike even slightly competitively (and in my case it's very slight indeed!) I have an enormous amount of respect for pretty much anyone who chooses to be a professional cyclist (even, begrudgingly, for Lance Armstrong). I just wonder if some of them need to think a little bit more before letting their lengthening tongues wag...


Much as I think Armstrong is very annoying -- but all this attention for him is much more annoying -- I always like these kind of random strikes in cycling; even if I disagree with their demands. For the same reason I like for instance how the ASO sometimes boycotts certain teams or riders without having a good (or fair) reason for doing so: it shows that cycling, more than any other sport, is close to real life, and that commercial interest doesn't dictate everything. If the organisers of the world's most popular race hold a grudge against one of the worlds' biggest teams, then they're not invited. If the riders don't want to race a certain circuit, then they don't have to.

Can you imagine the UEFA boycotting Man United from the Champions League just because this Ferguson bloke is such a moaner? Or Beckham and co refusing to play for whatever reason?

steve o'brien

My experience is that it isn't so much the Cipo's or current great sprinters who have the safety issue. They are up front (and they are all SERIOUSLY insane anyway). The problem is pulling the other 150 riders around the circut; even though those others have no intention or even hope of winning the stage, everyone has to make tempo so that they do not lose time on the stage by lettng gaps happen in the group. That mass starts to make for a nervous finish.

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