I loved watching the Tour this year for obvious reasons but was frankly disgusted at the lack of real fight shown by the riders.
‘Really? what, the daily pushing and shoving to get to the front of the peloton you mean’? Nope. ‘Ah… the suicidal lone attack in the mountains, the 140km lone break away to steal the yellow jersey for a day?’ Ermmm no, simpler than that. I mean a good old fashion punch up followed by a roll-a-round wrestling match on the car park outside the team hotel.
Other than Tyler Farrar having a bit of a shout in a team bus, I didn’t see anybody get brained with a front wheel a la Carlos Barredo in the 2010 Tour. And there’s nowt worse than getting Kysrium Super Light up the bracket when you least expect it eh?
Nothing is more unedifying or amusing that seeing cyclists fight. Particularly professional riders as in my estimation they’re the least well equipped human beings to engage in a spot of arbitrary pugilism for the following reasons.
1. T – Rex arms. Most decent cyclists have weedy upper bodies and arms so thin it’s a constant surprise they can lift anything as heavy as an iPhone. Can you imagine just how pathetic an arm wrestling completion between, say, Frank Schleck and Ryder Hesjedal would be? Both great cyclists but, I reckon, crap arm wrestlers.
2. By the time a professional cyclist is sufficiently enraged to try to punch someone’s lights out they have probably been riding for 6 hours and they are so tired they make ‘Weed’ from Bill and Ben look like Mr Universe.
3. Walking in cleats is neigh on impossible when calm and stable, getting sufficient purchase on the ground to swing a hay maker and remain standing whilst tired and enraged is just not feasible. The most likely outcome being an impromptu pirouette followed by an uncontrolled arm flapping high speed run down the nearest coll.
Most pro’s quite rightly realise they are unlikely to get far with fisticuffs and so resort to other methods to inflict pain and damage (commonly water bottles and insults) but I do wish they would try a little harder. Perhaps if the organisers introduced a real ‘combativity’ prize for the rider who has scored the most direct hits?
You can usually rely on Bernard Hainault to blob somebody in the face or drop kick an over enthusiastic fan in to the back end of next week as part of awards ceremony at the end of the stage but I can’t even recall ‘The Badger’ managing to land one this year.
Anybody see a punch up I missed?
Rich Smith is the author of ReCycled. A funny book about cycling and other less important things like life and death. Buy it via Amazon and he promises not to write anything else.