Are fans to soft on the riders at races?

Feb 23, 2011
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Years ago I went to see a race in France after the Festina scandal in the Autumn after that years Tour. Although the riders looked a bit nervous everything was very friendly friendly chatty chatty with the autograph hunters, press, team buses and race atmosphere.

I struck me at the time that notwithstanding how the Festina scandal had rocked the sport the team was welcomed to races with open arms and the fans said nothing.

Now I am not saying that as fans we should all rock up to the starts of races and throw rotten eggs/orchestrate sit down protests and placards.

However it occured to me that individuals, riders and teams who have either singularly or jointly caused great damage/embarassment to the sport should not be welcomed with open arms and given such an easy ride by the fans. One such team that springs to mind is Radioshack who in my opinion should not be seen within a 100 miles of a Pro bike race what with the fallout from the Armstrong decision.

Like I say I am not advocating a fans revolution but should we be so nicey nicey, happy happy to people who are part of the problem and still continue to perpetuate it. Why shouldnt we say what we think to Sean Yates, Bjarne Riis, the ex T Mobile mob and Vinokourov.
 
Aug 16, 2011
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Contador was boo'd at the 2011 Tour, and we have all seen the pics of someone running alongside the riders on climbs making doping gestures or holding big needles as props (Contador punching one fan on a climb in the tour, and Armstrong pushing a lady with a big prop needle into the snow come to mind).

The riders are in the middle of a race the last thing they need is some idiot coming up to them and accusing them of doping.

B_Ugli said:
One such team that springs to mind is Radioshack who in my opinion should not be seen within a 100 miles of a Pro bike race what with the fallout from the Armstrong decision.
Radioshack is no longer associated with Armstrong, and the team has sacked Bruyneel. The team is moving further away from Armstrong and people associated with him.
 
Remember the guy with a steak on a fishing line on Zoncolan? That was great.

At the same time, a lot of fans just want to see the riders. At the Vuelta there were guys accumulating signatures from all the Euskaltel riders, half the time they had to get the guys to shout out their name as while they may recognise Txurruka or Antón, guys like Oroz or Rubén Pérez are not so immediately recognisable. I saw Andriy Kashechkin warming down (!) in Logroño with nobody acknowledging he was even there, while the Movistar and Saxo buses were a swarm of activity.
 
Jul 25, 2010
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A little fan protest is fine, but what I don't want to see is things shoved in riders faces during a race.

The Contador steak moment, I thought that was brilliantly funny but I can see how something like that would ruin a race for other spectators.
 
Feb 23, 2011
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I have probably been a bit vague - I know about all of the above that has happened before and I agree doing something during a race is would be madness, to be honest I always cringe when I see anyone getting near riders some of the mountain stages in case somebody gets hurt.

What I am getting at is that we criticise the cycling fraternity for their Omerta and silence but perhaps as fans we should be a bit more outspoken.

Afrank said:
Radioshack is no longer associated with Armstrong, and the team has sacked Bruyneel. The team is moving further away from Armstrong and people associated with him.
I simply dont agree with you about Radioshack. They may have sacked Bruyneel but do you really think that all of their riders and management who were part of the team in 2009-2010 and before have been sacked? Azavedo, Demol, Gallopin, Kloden, Schleck, Zubeldia, Popovich, Horner.....Come on.
Add to that the current Schleck episode, and the fact that they are so intrinsically to Armstrong legacy can you honestly think that its good for the sport when they rock up at a race, claiming they knew nothing of what went on at the team?
 
Feb 17, 2012
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Libertine Seguros said:
Remember the guy with a steak on a fishing line on Zoncolan? That was great.
No, it wasn't. It was cringing. It wasn't a message towards the doping problems in the sport - it was just taking the pi*s of the sport.
 
Feb 17, 2012
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roundabout said:
Get off your high horse. Since when is making fun of inane excuses taking the **** of sport?
I've never been a fan of spectators stumbling alongside riders dressed up like ****ing squirrels and bumblebees either. But that's just me.
 
Oct 30, 2011
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I think the race itself is a bit like the pro-racing section. A few snarky comments aside, it belongs in the Clinic. Watch the racing for what it is, debate the drugs here.
 

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