I’ve written before about the fine line between finding exciting roads and turning a race from a sporting contest into a real life version of Wacky Races. Clearly there’s a gap between the fans, who want to see gruelling tests every day and the riders who can’t risk a season and their health on a dangerous bit of road. History suggests the fans win this contest, the sport has a long history of near-pathological challenges.
I suggest we need some rules. Given road conditions, weather and other subjective matters these will be hard to define and harder to impose but at the same time, letting a couple of riders make up the rules along the way is equally unsatisfactory. Certainly Cancellara’s “go slow” was in his team’s interest, he was not acting as the selfless shepherd of the peloton. Indeed many have expressed regret that the racing was stopped.
After the Giro I was imagining Tour bosses Prudhomme and Pescheux hunting down French versions of the Plan de Corones or the strade bianche but maybe yesterday’s events have changed things?