Monday, June 23, 2008

Elkhorn Stage 3: I Call Bullshit!!!!


IT’S FUCKING BIKE RACING PEOPLE!!! IT’S A SPORT FOR GLADIATOR HARDMEN WHO RACE IN THE RAIN!!! WHAT IS THIS, BASEBALL?? When was the last time the organizers of Paris-Rubaix canceled the race because the course was wet? When was the last time a whole stage of the Giro simply didn’t count for GC because the road was slippery? Never! You know why? It’s part of the sport!

This is my second race in the last 10 days that has been canceled due to rain, and I am pissed. The crit in St. Paul is somewhat understandable – the motorcycle crashed, and confusion reigned. This time however, it’s utterly reasonless. Yes, the roads were wet [note: the rain stopped 15 minutes prior to our start, and were dry within half an hour]. Yes, there were crashes in the other fields, some of them due racers miscalculating the amount of traction on the road. SO FUCKING WHAT???! Don't get me wrong: I feel awful for those who crashed and hurt themselves. But the presence of a treacherous corner doesn’t make a race inherently more dangerous – it simply forces the racers to change how they ride: use grippy tires, lower your pressure, take a smart line, and most important – slow the fuck down if you need to! This race has no time cut; nothing says you can't start at the back and get pulled on the first lap if you're too freaked out.

By canceling the race the organizers may have avoided a few more crashes. Then again maybe not – I’ve been in plenty of crits where the pro/1/2 men are the only ones to go crashless – but we’ll never know, will we? What we do know is that canceling the crit totally undermined the spirit of the stage race. Stage racing is cool because it tests racers across a variety of disciplines; that’s kind of the point, right? Well I happen to have a teammate or two who are outstanding in wet crits, and in my opinion, they were robbed. They should have been given a chance to move up in GC over guys who hate crits or suck in the rain.

Possibly the most annoyingly ironic part of this whole thing is the headline of the local paper:


Long live the New Flesh said...

noice pic!

Anonymous said...

There was OIL (or some substance) on the first corner..couple that with polished down cement, rain, and a long, fast straight away with the fact that it took out 8-10 people prior to your race and there you have all the facts...