Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NorCal Cycling News or it’s writing and editorial contributors. That said… i did love it when the climbers were having a go at each other several years ago with their little punches and wheel hitting. It was like watching a puppet show fight.
By Chuck Hutcheson
“Fighting in ice hockey is an established tradition of the sport in North America, with a long history involving many levels of amateur and professional play and including some notable individual fights. Although a definite target of criticism, it is a considerable draw for the sport, and some fans attend games primarily to see fights.Fighting is usually performed by one or more enforcers, or ‘goons’—players whose role it is to fight and intimidate—on a given team and isgoverned by a complex system of unwritten rules that players, coaches, officials, and the media refer to as ‘the code’.”
When I read the above statement, my first thought was – we NEED this in cycling. We need a code, something like you cheat by doping, you get beat to a pulp by a goon. I love it.
First step, we need some goons, some enforcers. Every team should have one, amateur or pro. The rider doesn’t have to even be good, just tough. They should be missing a few teeth and are totally willing to get DQ’d or suspended for a bit. I suspect if every Tour de France Team had one, we would only hear about stories like Frank Schleck once in a while. It would go something like:
Phil Ligget – “Last night Tour officials anounced that Frank Schleck, the Radioshack-Nissan-Trek rider from Luxembourg, tested positive for the banned diuretic Xipamide after Stage 13 on Saturday, according to the International Cycling Union, known as U.C.I..”
Paul Sherwin – “Rumor has it that Team Sky has its American Rider Chuck Liddell outside Frank’s hotel room waiting for the anouncement of Frank’s ‘B’ sample”
Phill Ligget – “I am hearing reports that while climbing out of the hotel 2nd story window, Frank Schleck has announced his retirement from the sport.”
How cool would this be? There should already be a life time ban on people that cheat – at ALL levels, so you get three birds with one stone (or fist or foot). You get instant punishment, they probably will life time ban themselves and cycling instantly receives some of the appeal that Ice Hockey has – the entertainment of watching a good fight (albeit deservedly one sided).
Cycling’s governing bodies obvously can’t fix the problem. It’s time for creative thinking.
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