The Tour de France has begun with unprofessionalism beyond category
Bus sandwiches, disrespect for a former Tour champion, and funny glasses were all on the menu. Tour de France viewers and spectators yesterday experienced what may have been the most unprofessional and disorganized start of a Tour de France in its entire history.
Tour de France viewers and spectators yesterday experienced what may have been the most unprofessional and disorganized start of a Tour de France in its entire history.
The Tour de France organizers allowed a team bus, which had reached the finish area three hours later than other team busses, to pass under the finish line scaffolding only to witness the bus getting stuck in a metal-on-rubber sandwich known from less significant races.
The Tour organizers have more than one hundred years of experience to draw from and must have become acquainted with the law of murphy. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong." Despite this valuable knowledge the Tour organizers made an hors catégorie failure by allowing the bus to pass under the scaffolding.
That a bus is allowed to get stuck under the finish-line scaffolding in the centennial edition of the Tour de France makes one question if the event will live to see its 200th edition, or if La Grande Boucle is past its prime having fallen into a deep sleep like the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit. Competing Grand Tours Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana have gained major popularity by renewing and reshaping their events with stunning success in recent years, while Le Tour has rested on its laurels.
The Giro d'Italia organizers' decision to allow serial dopers and tainted teams to take part in this year's Giro offered the Tour de France organizers the perfect opportunity to prove to millions of cycling fans around the globe it is still the benchmark event to beat when it comes to professionalism and perfection. So far, however, Le Tour has failed.
Not only did the bus incident - and the derived decision to move the finish line to the three kilometer mark when the peloton was less than ten kilometers from the finish, then repealing the decision - leave viewers and spectators with a taste of lacking professionalism. More importantly, it was also disrespectful to the professional cyclists taking part in the Tour de France.
The improper handling of the bus incident resulted in so much confusion, disorganization and panic in the peloton that many riders crashed. Some riders may be forced to abandon the Tour because of the incident, others have spent a sleepless night in bed and will suffer from major pain when they contest stage 2 of the Tour later today.
The absurd decisions of this year's Tour de France, however, did not end here. The Tour jury and organizers decided to neutralize the stage by handing the same finish time to all riders. This may, at first seem fair to many, but it is discrediting to the few general classification favorites such as BMC Racing Team's Cadel Evans, who had spent valuable energy on positioning themselves at the front of the peloton to avoid crashes and be able to take advantage of valuable time gained resulting from crashes taking place before the riders reached the three kilometer mark, after which time delays caused by crashes are always neutralized.
Evans should have been granted the