Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Message to the Tour de France Organizers

By Tom Kando

The Tour de France is the greatest athletic event in the world. Nothing compares with a nearly month-long, almost 3,000 mile long road race involving 200 of the world’s greatest athletes.

However: I don’t understand why the organizers and the authorities allow the racers to be subjected to such mayhem - generally caused by the public.

The millions of roadside spectators are incapable of controlling themselves - or their dogs. Every year, they seem to move a little closer to the very middle of the road, leaving practically no space for the racers to bike through. This causes innumerable accidents and serious injury to countless racers, who fall, break their bones and are often forced to quit.

Decades ago, the great Eddy Merckx was on the verge of winning his sixth Tour, when an unbelievable a....hole spectator caused him to fall!

A few years ago, Lance Armstrong fell after a spectator got tangled up in his handle bar.

This year, a spectator’s dog ran onto the road and caused two dozen racers to fall, some of whom had to quit the race altogether.

On July 4, fully half of the nearly 200 racers fell at one time or another during the stage, many of whom had to quit this year’s Tour as a result. Some of this was caused by motor oil spilling on an already rain-soaked and slippery road.

A couple of years ago, a spectator died. I believe he was run over by one of the vehicles of the Tour de France Caravan.

So let me address the Tour’s organizers in their own language:

Est-ce que vous etes fous, de permettre une telle situation?(Are you crazy, to allow such a situation?) Ces heros surhumains meritent respect et protection. (These superhuman heroes deserve respect and protection) Pourquoi tolerez-vous un tel bain de sang? (Why do you tolerate such a blood-bath?) Ne suffit-il pas que ces geants de la route entament - chaque annee - leur lute titanique, soufrant des douleurs inimaginables et des efforts epuisants?(Isn’t it enough that these giants of the road take on, every year, their titanic struggle, suffering unimaginable pain and exhausting efforts?) Pourquoi ne punissez-vous pas deja ces cretins spectateurs - au moins avec des grosses amendes, et meme la tole?(Why don’t you punish these idiot spectators - at least with heavy fines, and even with jail?) C’est inoui, qu’un saoulard ou un imbecile au bord de la route puisse severement blaisser ces athletes, ou meme mettre fin a leur cariere! (it is unbelievable that a roadside drunkard or imbecile could seriously hurt these athletes, or even put an end to their career!) leave comment here