Race vehicle nonsense (Crossing off the Crostis)

May 25, 2011

In the Giro, the Crostis climb was taken out at the last moment. The reason was not the safety of the riders, as more than 300 trees were cut and barricades were put up to ensure that. Nope, the reason was that the team cars can’t go up that climb and that having just one support motorcycle per team was considered too little. Hence the concept was introduced that “the sporting value of the race was in danger” because a mechanical could have a big impact on the race.

Tell that to the guys who had to weld and forge their own parts back together if something broke in the formative years of cycling. Apparently in retrospect, there is no sporting value in those early races!

When you watch cycling nowadays, there are hundreds of cars driving like crazy to let 200 guys ride around. This is nuts. I see four major problems with all these cars:

  1. It endangers the sporting value of the race (ha!) when you have the sprinters hang on the cars for dear life as they did up Etna.
  2. It endangers the sporting value of the race (ha! ha!) when the combination of team cars, VIP cars, motorcycles and assorted other transportation regularly hinders the riders, especially on the bad roads of the classics and in the mountains. Many a breakaway attempt is foiled not by the other competitors but by a vehicle that is supposed to be a inert part of the race.
  3. It’s plain dangerous as sports directors often drive like idiots. Most countries have passed laws that make it illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving. Many sports directors do that while at the same time talking into the team radio AND watching television. They seem to think they’re such great drivers and invincible, which makes matters only worse.
  4. It kills any notion that cycling is an environmentally conscious sport (and cutting 300 trees for nothing doesn’t help).
Tomorrow I’ll share a proposal to bring some sanity back into the sport and bring it down to a human level. Do you have any ideas, please share them in the comments section! To receive my proposal and other future blogs automatically, you can sign up for my blog via email, twitter, skype, or instant messaging here.

4 Responses to “Race vehicle nonsense (Crossing off the Crostis)”

  1. David Says:

    Camera and marshal motos should be electric. It hurts to see riders struggling up a steep mountain pass with 3 moto exhaust pipes just meters in front of them.

  2. Hi David, you’re absolutely right. Good point!

  3. […] Crossing off the Crostis […]

  4. Just watched Stage 9 Tour de France (2011). That should be reason enough to limit cars in the caravan. I counted 12 vehicles (cars and motos) in the break during a stage the other day. WHY?? So VIP’s can get up close and personal???

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