Ted King fighting through the pain barrier. Graham Watson photo
The French have always been weird creatures at best, and rude at their normal. Well, after Stage Four of Le Tour de France, apparently not too much has changed. Soldering on through pain, and in the spirit of the sport, Ted King got boned.
In case you have not been following the news out of Le Tour, Cannondale rider, American Ted King, was caught up in a big NASCAR style wreck on Stage One of the race. He separated a shoulder, and was pretty scraped up and bruised. In immense pain, King rode as part of Cannondale’s Team Time Trial effort, fell behind, and finished seven (7) seconds outside of the time-cut. It was then the Tour Organizers showed their true, nationalistic bigotry.
Per the malleable rules of Le Tour, King was informed he was disqualified from further competition. I (and a host of others) call the rules malleable because other riders have in the past missed the time cut by margins way larger than King’s, yet were allowed to continue. The only difference many see between the two instances is that King is an American domestique, and the others were big team, big name European riders. If the “Rules are the rules” (as Team Cannondale was told) then why are they not enforced across-the-board on every rider and every team? At least that answer would have carried some credibility, then. The fact that this rule (and a host of others) has not been universally enforced shows the Organizers are full of shit, and the rule book is written in pencil.
So, here is the bottom line: The rules are enforced against an American rider on an American bicycle, but not against Europeans. OK, fine. Next time any of the Frogs come over here, I say we should give them a very unfriendly welcome and put ketchup in all of their food.
Meanwhile, the madness which is Le Tour continues. Only God knows what stupid things the Organizers will do next.