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Le Blanc, Le Pen and Tour 2002(8 posts)

Le Blanc, Le Pen and Tour 2002Cactus1
May 7, 2002 7:25 AM
This is not a conspiracy theory...

But perhaps the Tour organizer's choices for the TDF are reflections of ultra-nationalists in France. Nationalist Le Pen won serious support before the run-off elections. Sports fan populations usually have a significant proportion of "nationalists," and cycling in France is not a niche sport as it is in the U.S. So perhaps Le Blanc et al had to choose French teams or lose popularity at home. It's a business after all and a sign of the times in Europe. Joerg Haider is a conservative Nationalist and leads Austria. Descendents of Mussolini have a stake in Italian politics. Xenophobes in Europe are becoming more influential.

The point: Tour selections have little to do with cycling, which hurts the sport.

my opinion on thisslow-ron
May 7, 2002 7:48 AM
The French don't play football (football americain, that is), baseball, or hockey. There are only a few good golfers from France (Jean Van der Velde) and I think there's only one player in the NBA from France.

The French play soccer and they cycle. Even the younger generations display less of an interest in cycling than in the past. However, I think the French would desperately like for one of their countrymen to win the tour. It's only natural that they're trying to make that happen. I do agree with you that this attitude is hurting the sport and ultimately will damage French cycling more than help it.

One additional "sport" for the French is the discussion of politics. Chirac sucks so the people are trying to make a statement with the vote count for Le Pen. No one there really wanted him to win, they're just tired of the current politicians.

I don't see the the election and the tour selections being related.
Don't underestimate the electorateStampertje
May 7, 2002 9:05 AM
(sorry - I realize this belongs in the non-cycling forum, really)

Le Pen has quite a serious following in France, much like more-or-less extreme right wing politicians all over Europe. Nationalism and protectionism are gaining strength as people are less satisfied with the state of their country. The same trend that Europeans have despised in American politics - eschewing of friends and allies, unilateralism - is starting to play a big role in European politics. Hidden or open racism is frequently a part of this.

So I guess I should be glad the major Dutch team will have an American leader for the Tour... go Levi!
I was just remarking on this to a friend.JS
May 7, 2002 9:12 AM
All the things the Europeans say they dislike about America are gaining strength in European politics, kinda funny really. The assasination of the Dutch right wing candidate yesterday is a bit disturbing though.
Cycling mirrors politics...maybe...PdxMark
May 7, 2002 12:01 PM
Le Pen got 17% in primary, 18% in run-off...

the 17% in a large and fractured primary field with a corrupt Chirac & ineffective Jospin (16%) (or is it the other way round?). Perhaps it signals a swing to French radical nationalism, but more likely reflects about a similar sized hardcore conservative percentage in US politics (20%?).

Maybe another lesson for the French is that alot of weak candidates, or cycling teams, doesn't give the best results in an election or race, but rather dilutes the competition so that only one competitor is likely to win. Hmmm, maybe cycling does reflect politics...
right they dont play sissy sports like Am footbolcyclopathic
May 7, 2002 1:20 PM
they play rugby
Olympic games 2000: France = silver in BasketballPeterRider
May 7, 2002 2:41 PM
This said, it is right that it would be nice to have some french dude winning the TdF. I was supporting Simon, last year, when he had the yellow jersey (later, I supported Armstrong, since I think he is really the best and I have a Trek).

Concerning Chirac, he supports sport stuff. In 96, France got its best results ever at the Olympics. Also, Chirac was there at the final match of the World Cup in 1998, and later he even awarded the Legion d'Honneur (highest possible medal in France, usually awarded to good soldiers) to the french team.

Hope the french team will do well at the World Cup 2002, and that french people will also be good at the TdF this time.

Olympic games 2000: France = silver in Basketballslow-ron
May 8, 2002 4:23 AM
I remember images of the people partying in the streets after the French won the world cup. I think the place would go crazy again if a Frenchy could win the TDF. (Interesting that the leader of the team the year France won the cup was of Algerian descent. I wonder what Mr. Le Pen thinks of this.)

Instead of Chirac watching soccer and giving out awards he should think of doing some actual work during the next 5 years. From everyting I've read this guy is corrupt.

At any rate, this is all totally off the subject of cycling but I am rooting for the French cyclists in this years tour.