KRUSHING THE TOUR: Stage 14


Puns.
A-tack. Karpets tacks. Tack-y. All hilarious puns made after today's disastrous stage. By hilarious, of course, I mean stupid. And I do not mean disastrous because of the tacks.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize.
The whole ordeal with the tacks on the summit of the Mur de Peguere is a real bummer. It had been a long time since something like this had happened in a Grand Tour and now I'm afraid there will be copy cats out there trying to replicate the stunt in other races.
As shitty a situation as that was, let's not lose sight of what the real problem was with today's stage: Nothing interesting had happened up until that point and chances are nothing interesting would have happened. Nibali, Evans and their teams didn't try anything all stage. Even Froome was hardly on screen. So, when Evans first pulled over with a rear puncture, I thought: Game on! Finally something is gonna happen. Nope. Wiggins rightfully neutralized the stage and we were back to status quo. Unfortunately for me, that status quo in this year's Tour has been anything but exciting.
Now, I am not saying that Liquigas or Lotto-Belisol should have attacked, or that what Sky did was wrong, but what I am saying is that even when I thought I was gonna get some awesome racing, I didn't. Until later when I saw the Tour of Poland stage. It was brilliant.

Poor ol' Pierre Rolland.
Let's give this dude a break. He went for it, but went back to the peloton. End of story. Listen, last time I checked, the Tour was a race. Not a parade of "gentlemen" riding their bikes through France, advertising national lotteries and banks. Let's ask ourselves a question: Do we think that Merckx would have taken advantage of that situation? I'd like to think he would have. That's why he was the "Cannibal" and not the "Gentleman."

I understand good sportsmanship, but I also understand not giving a rat's ass about it. In my eyes, if Rolland would have gone for it and ended 6th in the GC, I would not have had a problem with that. If Van Garderen and Brajkovic didn't react, that's on them, not on Rolland. The race between Nibali, Evans and Wiggins, was the one that was affected by the retards with the tacks.

“I lived a very different cycling, at the beginning of a sprint, I felt like a gladiator, ready to do anything to keep my place." Cipollini, a man's man.
  

When the Lion King roared.
Maybe cycling is gotten way too gentlemanly and the grit and brutality, which is what attracted me to the sport in the 80s, is disappearing. To quote one of my favorite riders of all time, the Mighty Super Mario Cipollini: “In five hundred years or more, human beings might have both sets of genitalia, male and female. I don’t want this evolution to have started already in cycling…” Let's try to ignore the not-so-subtle sexism in the comment. The message is clear, nowadays cycling has gotten too soft. But there's always an excuse, isn't there? Stages are shorter because of TV rights and stages aren't as hard because the season is longer, and this and that, and sponsors and big contracts and big money and we end up with boring races and 200 gentlemen prancing through the fields of France making sure no one's feelings are hurt.


Do You Like Prancing? Tune in Tomorrow.

I'll be tuning it to watch the last 5k.


Anyway.
On a lighter note: my brother, the master mind behind Cycling Inquisition, posted a gem for all of us. It's his view of today's madness. Do check it out here.