Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Some people....

I wonder how many people around the world were secretly cheering when that Tour spectator got hit by the motorcycle a couple of days ago? One team's sports director describes hitting "five to six" crazy spectators with his car as well. Nobody wants them to get hurt, but their antics put themselves in danger and endangers the cyclists and drivers as well. Rider Andrey Kashechkin was hit in the nose and injured by a spectator today, and in Stage 7 Dutch Davitamon-Lotto rider Leon van Bon withdrew from the Tour due to an injury caused by a spectator.

I'll bet the riders wish a few of the journalists could be taken out in a similar way, too.

I have a hard time understanding some people's attitudes towards rider's standings. Consider this experience of Gerolsteiner rider Robert Förster, described in Cyclingnews.com:
"... some guy with his notebook in hand came after me. He wanted to ask me a few more questions. Sure, no problem. He had to write something about "the worst German," he said. Me: What?? Well, Becke is the second-worst German and I am the worst. Wasn't it "degrading" to be so far down in the rankings, and wasn't it my goal, to overtake Becke..... I tried to explain to him that I wasn't being paid to do well in the GC. For what then, he asked? That was enough for me - they also don't pay me to explain the ground rules of cycling to a journalist during the Tour. Besides, the "worst German" had to go train..."
Perhaps experiences like that, as well as the peculiar (to my mind) attitudes of Tour organizers toward the Lanterne Rouge position, explain why we haven't seen many interviews from riders further down in the standings.

Contrast that attitude with Förster's description of his superhuman efforts getting through Stage 15:
"The stage today - you can't imagine it. Until today, I couldn't imagine how much I could torture myself. When you see the results, you say, ok, he came in with the gruppetto. Only two riders dropped out. It wasn't that bad. But in reality it was hell. I had a blackout 100 km long, I can't remember anything about it."

Yeah, the pic of that guy getting hit has gotten quite a few laughs around my office. I'm a fan, and I'd love to go see the Tour in person again, but some people get a little too crazy to be allowed out in public....

The worst German is still a dran site better than 99% of pro cyclists I bet.
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