20 January 2011
Looking forward to July? Well, I was.
Though with the publication of the 22 selected teams for the
Tour the France, you managed to disappoint me quite a bit.
Already 18 teams were selected for the three Grand Tours.
Still, there were four wild cards left for you so you had
to make a choice between the professional continental teams.
Hard choice, that’s right.
Though the decision you made is ridiculous.
All the four teams are French.
Then there was the reaction of Tour director Christian Prudhomme.
He said something about trust in the French riders and helping French cycling.
I’m sorry to say, but that made me laugh.
This case is clearly not about trust.
It is about revenge, nationalism and the need for a new French cycling hero.
You are not exactly good friends with the UCI, you like to show where you are from and you are longing for a new French cycling hope.
All of these are not good reasons to let five French teams start in the Tour.
You seem to have forgotten what cycling is really about.
Cycling does not revolve around you or, with all respect, around French cycling.
Yes, true cycling fans love to see new talents.
But we’re talking about the Tour de France here.
The Tour with the most sponsors, the most publicity
and the most people standing aside the roads.
You want to organise the biggest race in cycling?
Then you have to act like it.
Select the teams with the best riders of the world.
We are used to all the doping affairs affecting the cycling sport,
but what about organisations that ban some of the competition?
The UCI already took a step forward by selecting
the best teams for the WorldTour.
ASO, know that you can be objective too.
Now we will always wonder what it would have been like if last year’s number three and the winner of 2008 did get an invitation.
The Tour of 2011 will not be complete without them.
It will just be another ASO show.