An important rule in the world of horse racing is the non-triers rule
, which requires a jockey to make the required effort in order to gain the best possible result. Cycling has no such comparable rule and throughout the history of the sport riders have 'gifted' wins to other riders.
Is it time for cycling to take a leaf out of horse racing's rule book? At the finish of every race, every rider must be seen to be making the required effort to achieve result instead of just sitting up and letting some else finish ahead of them?
Isn‘t cycling a team sport and horse racing an individual sport? The thing that needs to be questioned of course are moves like the one Roglič and Evenepoel did yesterday. But alas, gaining favor with your competitors does not appear to me to be a viable tactic in horse racing, if you disregard gamesmanship and illegal moves you and your opponent could conjure up together.
Meanwhile in cycling, gifts can be a tactical tool in some situations, be it expecting a similar move in return the next time this situation arises or be it making other teams more willing, subconsciously even, to contribute to an effort chasing down a break or intended to make a decisive break yourself. Of course, this should mean gifts, not collusion or acquiring a victory through monetary assets.
Oh, by the way, what is up with people basically arguing that Van Aert got an offer he can‘t refuse from God to win Gent-Wevelgem and that he committed the most horrific of blasphemies the sport of cycling has ever seen by endowing Laporte with the rights to the title. I just don‘t get it and I‘m worried that with each semi-classic where he fails to defeat his opponents in a sprint or he gets dropped late or he‘s washed up and uncompetitive, people‘s voices accusing Van Aert of moral failure for this selfishly altruistic act, however much orchestrated it may have been by the team, will grow louder and louder.