|Floyd Landis' diary from cyclingnews...pretty funny.........||chopper|
Jun 17, 2003 10:03 AM
|A Perfect Example
June 17, 2003
Most of the time, major stage races such as the Dauphiné Libéré end up being a blur in my memory and when I think back afterwards, trying to recall a specific stage or event, I simply cannot place exactly when it was.
However, a few days ago, in stage four of the Dauphiné Libéré , something happened in the race that will never leave my mind. At this point, it stands as the most ironic and funny (even though it is at someone else's expense) thing I have ever seen in a bicycle race.
Before I tell the story, you should know a few details. Since the death of Andre Kivilev last March in Paris-Nice, the UCI now requires helmets in all of events, with the only exception being a mountain top finish where the last climb is longer than five kilometres. In that case, riders can remove their helmets for the final climb but not before.
In my opinion this is a good rule and although there are exceptions, it will prevent some injuries and perhaps even deaths in the future. However, as with most things in life, there is a good bit of disagreement about the new rule. Many in the peloton are against it, either because they do not believe that helmets help or just because they do not like being told what to do.
For whatever reason, that was the case at the beginning of Stage Four of the Dauphiné Libéré , when several riders organized by Jackie "Dudu" Durand and Richard Virenque decided that they wanted the field to stop and wait for two minutes without helmets at kilometre zero as a protest to the new rule.
However, their problem was that only a few people knew about this protest before Stage Four started, and were only told in the few neutral kilometers before the protest it was supposed to take place. This left most riders no time to decide if they wanted to participate or not. To make matters worse, the previous day, the race passed the place where Andre Kivilev was killed and his wife was at the finish for a small memorial service. In my opinion, this helmet protest was very poorly timed, so when we arrived at the start and most of the riders stopped, I rode up the road a few meters and waited so as not to be perceived to be a part of the protest.
The whole situation with the protest was irritating to me, mostly because a couple of obnoxious French riders, who just decided that they were going to be the leaders of this thing, expected everyone else to stop and agree with them. And I guess I wasn't the only one who was irritated, because after about 30 seconds, the rest of the guys had had enough and started ride. Well this wasn't the response that Dudu had hoped for, and just as you would expect from a guy who appoints himself as leader, he was not too happy and started to yell things in French at the other riders. These were things, and I can only assume based on his tone, that were not meant as friendly jokes.
Anyway, all of this would not have been too far from normal at the beginning of a bike race, and probably would have been quickly forgotten if Dudu had just stopped there. But every once in a while, irony meets bad luck and if you mix in a little poor decision-making, you get what happened next. In this irate state, Jackie then decided to attack right from the start and since Lance had won the time trial the previous day and was in the lead, we began to ride to control the race. As we got to about 20 meters from Dudu, he realized he was caught, and since he was now more frustrated than ever he began looking back and swerving from side to side in a gesture of dissatisfaction at how his day was going.
Now I am making light of this story at the risk of looking bad for laughing at someone's mistakes, but if you are going to protest a helmet rule, in my opinion, there are several things you should be sure to not do.
First, be sure that the majority agrees with you and knows about the protest.
Second, do it on a day when peop
Jun 17, 2003 10:05 AM
|Second, do it on a day when people are not thinking about the person who died and prompted this rule.
And most importantly, after you protest, DO NOT CRASH!
Well, Jackie, in his frustrated state, not paying attention in his anger and frustration, ran smack into a police motorcycle and crashed on his head in a most spectacular display, with his bike bouncing in the air at 55km/h; a saddle bag from the motor cycle falling off and skidding out in front of the peloton as Dudu jumped up and ran to the side of the road to avoid being run over.
Well, there you have it, a perfect example of how to draw attention to and then totally discredit your cause!
On a far more important note, the Dauphiné Libéré was a success for the USPS-Berry Floor team and for me. Lance won the time trial and with a strong team defended it for the following four stages. As for me, my hip is 100% fine and one month after surgery I am quite happy with my fitness. In a few days, Johan will announce the final Tour De France team and then we will learn together what the next month has in store for me! For now, I am going out for a ride and I am going to wear my helmet.
Until next time,
|That's terrific! (nm)||CHRoadie|
Jun 17, 2003 12:01 PM
|Totally amusing story!||Rich_Racer|
Jun 17, 2003 12:02 PM
|I haven't been reading his diary but I will from now on - that was really entertaining. He sounds like a cool guy. I hope he makes the team for the tdF.|
|Dudu's a dodo!||velocity|
Jun 17, 2003 1:07 PM
|Durand's temper tantrum could have resulted in his getting seriously hurt AND brought down a bunch of the peleton. Since things turned out otherwise, it's LOL funny!|
|re: Floyd Landis' diary from cyclingnews...pretty funny.........||The Human G-Nome|
Jun 17, 2003 12:29 PM
|that was terrific! wonderful story.|
|I like Floyd he is awesome! nm||the bull|
Jun 17, 2003 12:52 PM