Friday 20 July 2018

Burning French Toast

On the evidence of yesterday the Tour de France mountain stages, notably that of Alpe D'Huez are turning the race into a lottery where it is not the cycling that matters but the survival. Nibali, a leading contender was knocked off his cycle during the run in and Froome was slapped and spat on. Probably, there were others.

It seemed as though some effort had been made for control in that the last 5 kilometres had spectator rails, but alas the mob with the loonies, exhibitionists and thugs had simply moved downhill. Why the French seem reluctant to restrict entry to those areas is a question.

The bigger question is whether the Tour should any longer use these traditional routes and opt for different ones where control of access and roads clear for racing and not dodging the spectators is there to make it a real race and not a media, advertising set of stunts.

The Tour is changed in other ways. The hi-tech radio etc. instant communication means that the riders do not necessarily make the key decisions. They are being made by Team Managers although might be ignored by one of the big names, up to a point.

An effect of this is that commentators now spend a good time of time speculating on the team directions and tactical instructions rather than what is happening on the road. One major effect is that this is differs greatly now from the past, more regulated more governed by other things.

On Monday 22 July 2013 I did a post "Le Tour De Frantic" about how things had changed. They are more changed now and it is less than a Tour than a lottery whose results are determined by the men in the control vehicles, occasionally the mob on the roads and the sprints in the last kilometre.

When it is the scenery I am watching and not the race perhaps it is time to try another channel and another sport.


  1. Had a gander at some Alpe D'Huez footage and yes - loonies, exhibitionists and thugs.

  2. While Prudhomme said that there were 5000 gendarmes out and about the highlights narrator correctly noted that they weren't keeping people behind the barriers. Probably checking for rude tweets, if ours are anything to go by . . .

  3. “Why the French seem reluctant to restrict entry to those areas is a question.”

    Why do they allow Calais too?