Monday, May 9, 2011

Cycling Update: Tragedy At the Giro

The Giro d' Italia started this past weekend.  It's been an ugly year in cycling so far with doping investigations heating up, the teams fighting with the UCI, and the riders fighting with the UCI.  The spring classics were good, but seemed to be missing something this season with a lot of the big names hurt and so all of cycling has been looking to the Giro to properly kick start the spring as we head toward the Tour de France.

Today all that negativity that seems to be blossoming in cycling seemed to be the backdrop of a horrible tragedy when 26 year old Belgian, Wouter Weylandt suffered a fatal crash on the first major descent of the tour. 

Cycling is a dangerous sport and often everyone seems to forget just how dangerous it is until something like this happens.  To be honest this Giro was already marred by the fact that Alberto Contador, one of the race favorites, is on the verge of being suspended.  Now with this tragedy it makes all of these issues seem petty and stupid and it will forever define the 2011 Giro. 

David Millar took over the race lead today.  As current race leader he is the voice right now of the peleton and he released a very moving statement.  Weylandt was Tyler Farrar's best friend and family in Europe and so the American has been hard hit.  Things like this can often end careers of athletes or it can rally them to do great things.  I'm not sure if Farrar will remain in the Giro or quit, no one is sure if Weylandt's team will stay in or quit. 

Sports are entertaining and they bring a lot of pleasure to a lot of people.  When something like this happens, or I read about the brain damage suffered by NFL players, I'm often left to wonder if the cost for these athletes is simply too great. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This is awful, and the Millar quotes are, indeed, very moving.