Two more pro-cyclists have dropped out of the Tour de France today before Stage 17 Saint-Gaudens > Saint-Lary Pla d’Adet (124,5 km) got underway.
Can’t say I blame them – whilst this stage is the shortest at 124.5 km, its one of the toughest – with absolutely brutal climbs.
168 men are left in the race for this stage today.
Orica-GreenEdge’s sprinter Simon Gerrans suffered injuries in the stage one crash that with Mark Cavendish and has struggled with them ever since.
“With the injuries I have from stage one I think the best decision is actually to stop now and completely recover,” he said. “I know I haven’t been 100% right since my crash but I was hoping to improve throughout the race. That hasn’t really been the case.”
IAM’s Reto Hollenstein – The Guardians News feed meanwhile has alerted me to another story of the sheer stubborn intensity that pro cyclists need for their sport.
At the start of yesterday’s stage Iam Cycling’s Reto Hollenstein crashed and punctured a lung.
The medical car was a distance away up the road monitoring the leaders, so the young Swiss rider got back on his bike and finished the stage.
With a punctured lung.
Unsurprisingly he has not made the start today.
Even as I’m typing this update, the Tour de France official news feed has highlighted that at least one other rider has been forced to quit mid stage.
Simon Spilak was forced to quit the Tour because of a stomach bug while Zak Dempster (NetApp) called for medical assistance after being bitten by a wasp.
It is unclear yet if Zak Dempster has had to quit because of the sting…….
Its been an attritional race this year – but probably no more so than normal……
The Tour de France……. genuinely one of the toughest sporting events of all time.
I came upon this recent paper about “Constructing a view of citizenship” that is changed by active engagement in cycling as a social activity and as a means of transport, in my usual review of all things cycling this lunchtime.
The paper uses in-depth interview data from Cambridge, England, to discuss the concept of the ‘cycling citizen’, exploring how, within heavily-motorised countries, the practice of cycling might affect perceptions of the self in relation to natural and social environments. Participants portrayed cycling as a practice traversing independence and interdependence, its mix of benefits for the individual and the collective making it an appropriate response to contemporary social problems. In this paper I describe how this can be interpreted as based on a specific notion of cycling citizenship rooted in the embodied practice of cycling in Cambridge (a relatively high cycling enclave within the low-cycling UK). This notion of cycling citizenship does not dictate political persuasion, but carries a distinctive perspective on the proper relation of the individual to their environment, privileging views ‘from outside’ the motor-car.
There’s an interseting section that muses on the decline of street life and citizen engagement and its relationship with the increasing motorisation of public spaces – perception of road danger – risk of injury etc.that caught my attention. See the link below for a free download….It’s cogent, relatively concise, well written and has multitudinous cross references to there related papers.
Quite thought provoking, but it also highlights the lack of much research into the impact of motorised transportation in changing peoples perceptions of public life and space , private life and space, and general citizenship.
Gets the grey cells going ….
A note from “The Guardian” excellent article on this subject :-
“Unlike previous winners Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and 25-time stage winner Mark Cavendish - all of whom crashed out – Cancellara chose to abandon the race prior to the Alps and Pyrenees in order to prepare for September’s Road World Championships in Spain.
Cancellara said in a statement released by his Trek Factory Racing team: “I will travel home now and take a little break. The season has been long for me, starting back in Dubai (in February).”
What the hell?
When Cavendish crashed he injured his shoulder and needed surgery…
When Froomey crashed (albeit much less spectacularly) he broke his wrist and bones in his other hand…
When Contador crashed he broke his leg , remounted and rode for another 15km – uphill – overtaking back markers in the pelaton until the pain became too much to bear. That, in my book, is the very definition of a committed team cyclist – so he gets my deepest respect. Chapeau Sir!
But…. Cancellara cancels the greatest cycle race in the entire years calendar to get some rest – because he’s tired? Leaving his team with just 6 riders?
He is doing his team and his sponsors a great disservice, and is clearly demonstrating a lack of leadership skills to commit to something – only to leave it a third of the way through.
I am … deeply, awfully, unimpressed.
Mark Cavandish crashed out, Chris Froomey crashed several times and abandoned , Andy Schleck withdrew , and now Contador withdraws after trying to catch up with the pelaton after a heavy crash whilst cycling with a suspected broken tibia….what a guy.
Get better soon Alberto !!!
The Tour de France is definitely not the same without you.