Welcome to July, Chaos in the Tour

Well its hot, really hot.  It’s currently 8:30 and the heat index just busted 100.  You see it’s not the heat its the humidity, LOL.  Anyway had a good week, Getting in a ride almost everyday, lots of rides with Shauna, she continues to progress and soon I may have to start riding my lighter bike our she’ll drop me on the hills. 

We’ve been watching the Tour de France, and I actually watched Thursday’s stage to Super Besse from start to finish.  Yesterday we were getting a little bored so I fast forward about 30 minutes.  As soon as the video starts again I hear Paul say, “What a day, and can we imagine what would have been if those 2 riders weren’t taken out by a car.”  Both our eyes bugged out and Shauna was like, “go back!”  

Hoogerland disconnects himself from a barb wire fence.

We watched the two guys, Hoogerland and Flecha, get hit by a car in the Tour de France after spending all day in a breakaway that was actually going to succeed.  Hoogerland was lauched off his bike into a barb wire fence on the side of the road.  It was surreal, frieghtening and pissed me off.  We saw Chris Horner go out the other day, Dave Z yesterday, Levi keeps crashing.  Vino’s and Jurgen are in the hospital, Gesink is hurt and not riding well.  This is not good.  Many of these crashes are happening near the front, where it is supposedly safe.  I’ve been thinking a few things.  One, Team Radioshack has had horrible luck this year, but I don’t think its all luck.  

When Lance was winning the tour and making it look easy, he was doing so by controlling the race, everyone on his team knew he was the boss and everything was geared to make sure he made it to the finish line as easy as possible.  This year Radioshack went in with 4 possible leaders and the strategy of letting the strongest man surface then everyone would work for him.  You can’t do that in the Tour de France.  You have to be focused 100% from the get go.  They should have taken Levi, Horner, Klooden and Popeye and had them either race up a mountain, or even better do a power to weight analysis and declared a pure GC leader right from the start. 

In contrast to Radioshack look at the way that BMC and Garmin have been riding, controlling the race, protecting their leader and staying out of accidents.  Still I wonder how much it really matters with every Director yelling at their riders to go to the front.  I was really looking forward to seeing what Horner would do in the mountains, I had a strong belief he would be able to get himself on the podium or at least make top 5.

I don’t believe that bike riding is a dangerous pastime, but there is no doubt in my mind its a dangerous sport.  The few crashes I’ve had were always when I was racing, or pretending to race someone and riding at the edge of my abilities.  When the greatest in the world come together for the biggest race in the world there is bound to be wrecks, there is no way to avoid them, but when riders are taken out by stupid drivers they need to look at the situation and make it safer for the riders.

About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
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One Response to Welcome to July, Chaos in the Tour

  1. Steve says:

    I was watching the peleton go down a mountain with wet roads and marveled at how close together they were at such incredible speeds. “If one of those guys slips” I thought, “There’ll be an incredible mess.” About 10 minutes later, Vinokourouv was in a ditch with a broken hip.

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