Why is the Tour So Boring?

In case you’re wondering why the Tour is so boring this year, my colleague Rick Vosper has an answer and shared it on his Facebook earlier this week. Here’s what he posted with a link to The Economics of Professional Road Cycling

Welcome to the era of Corporate Cycling. The UCI is packaging and producing the WorldTour(tm) as a two-wheeled version of the Formula One circuit. The ASO has turned the Tour from a bike race to a commercial product–according to one estimate, its one-month-a-year event is a bigger cash cow than the entire English Premiere League season (I’m not sure whether I believe this, personally, but consider it as a matter of scale).

And now Sky has created the blandest, homogenized, by-the-numbers cycling team in racing history. Even in the glory days of Renault-Gitane when Cyrille Guimard–arguably the greatest DS-level tactician in cycling history– had the three best GC cyclists in the world racing on the same team, the racing was more interesting than this.

If we agree that the Tour is being run like Formula 1, then the rules need to get changed. And, the chorus against the unwritten rules of the peloton is getting louder. I agree with what Lemond says in this Reuters report.

If you’re riding along at 40kph and you see the yellow jersey stops to urinate you don’t attack, if he crashes and you’re not racing fast, you don’t attack.

If the race is on, it does not matter what happens to the yellow jersey, he’s got a team and that’s what a team is for.

It is and a mechanical is part of the race. Today Froome lost the jersey, so we’ll see how that mixes it up, and hope brings the racing back.

Photo Tour de France 2017 – 13/07/2017 – Etape 12 – Pau / Peyragudes (214,5 km) – France © ASO/Bruno BADE


Also published on Medium.