Compared to the big professional sports around the world, cycling probably comes across as one of the more obscure and weird ones. Well, in yesterday’s 14th stage of the Tour de France — the Super Bowl of the sport of cycling, if you will — things got a whole lot weirder.
As the race entered the first day of racing in the French Pyrenees, the pack of riders came across an unusual obstacle: tacks. Yes, you heard that right. Someone threw tacks and nails out into the course of the Tour de France.
Fortunately no one was injured, but according to the Associated Press at least 30 riders suffered time delays as they dealt with the incident. Cadel Evans, who won the race last year, was one of these victims. He had to stop multiple times and wait for help. At one point, the defending champion even waited for as long as two minutes while he waited for a teammate to spot him a puncture-free rear wheel.
In a race comprised of timed stages, that’s kind of a big deal.
One person who WASN’T hampered by the fiasco was the races current leader, Bradley Wiggins. In fact, the Brit went so far as to urge the pack of riders who made it through the road hazard to slow down so that the affected riders, including Evans, could catch back up as per the sport’s unspoken rules of etiquette.
Evans and Wiggins finished the day with the same time as cyclists Luis Leon Sanchez won the stage.
The Tour has been known to have its unintended distractions, but even this pushes the limits ridiculousness. Throwing tacks on the road wouldn’t make it possible to target a specific rider or team, so the culprit’s intentions must’ve been purely anarchy. Maybe it’s time to install some NASCAR-style fences, eh?
Of course, allowing fans to be so close to the riders is part of the fun, but society’s rules must be based by its lowest inhabitants. We see it with other things in everyday life. If nine fans follow the rules and one acts up, the end result is usually 90% of the fan base suffering as collateral damage. How does that saying go? This is why you can’t have nice things.
NOTE: This article was originally published on SportsHead. To read this article and others click here.
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