The Tour de France has begun with unprofessionalism beyond category

News & Results

06/30/2013| 2 comments
by Mark Watson
Team Garmin-Sharp's former Giro d'Italia Champion Ryder Hesjedal has decided to ride the 2013 Tour de France wearing "funny glasses" Fotoreporter Sirotti

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

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hughest|

Its a good thing this is outside the US or there would be injunctions and class action law suits, even a commercial asking if the finish of stage one caused anxiety or even death. As you said in the article, they are professionals and they deal with it. It's only a big deal to the snooty twit type and those people are going to cry foul no matter what. Who cares if a rider wears funny glasses on the first stage? Really? The bus incident was a mis calculation and is just another story of the tour. Why did you choose to write such a negative article? So much more to say about the excitement the bus caused or how Cav looks like a real tdf veteran by avoiding the huge crash that beat up all the top sprinters. These guys are warriors, some are delicate Lil flower personality wise but they all know what they are doing...... And you chose to write about everything that went wrong and who should be crying foul.....the readers of your article are the real victims. I'm surprised you didn't find a way to toss LA in there too.

Mark Watson|

Hughest, I appreciate you taking the time to provide us with your thoughts and opinion. Thank you. In my article I chose to focus on "everything that went wrong" in stage 1 of this year's Tour ... because these errors and mishaps don't belong in the World's biggest race. There's plenty of other coverage here on Roadcycling.com which is focusing on the more positive angles ... and there should be.