This evening I will be a guest of “de Avondetappe”, a Tour de France talk show on national Dutch television. Two years ago I was there for the first time, and my appearance shocked the homefront.
You may remember, it was just after the first Giro for Cervelo TestTeam, where we won four stages and Sastre finished on the podium. But it could have been five wins. Serge Pauwels was in the lead group on a mountain stage but was called back by JP van Poppel to help Sastre (as were a few riders from other teams). Through miscommunication (both human and electronics-caused), it was a complete disaster.
At first Serge refused to slow down, and when he finally did 10 minutes later, it was no longer necessary so it looked like a complete cock-up – which it was but a different one than it appeared on TV. Anyway, a team blunder but an honest one. Unfortunately, an inferiority-complexed commentator saw it as proof of a Dutch conspriracy to prevent a Belgian win. That week several people on the team received death-threats.
Somehow I had never bothered to mention these threats at home. I can’t really remember why I never mentioned it (“Anything happen at work today?” “Nothing special”). So my family learned about it while watching some relaxed talk show two months later. They were not amused. So let me get this out of the way before the broadcast: There have been no death threats in the past two years.
I’ll be away next week for a long-long-long-awaited vacation. I have some posts lined up, but I won’t be able to respond to your comments until I return home. But I do appreciate your comments, so I will catch up asap.