Thursday, April 23, 2009

Theo Bos should never be allowed to race bikes again.

The blogging twitter-sphere has been abuzz about this, after watching it over and over, I have decided to set up my little soap box.

Theo Bos should be banned from cycling. At least for a year, but life would be justifiable. What he did was criminal.

What boggles my mind is that there seem to be plenty of defenders, or at least excuse-makers, for his actions. The (miserable) excuses seem to be based around the fact that he was against some 'uneven' barriers and running out of road and grabbing a handful of jersey and pulling the guy in front of him off his bike is a natural reaction to an imminent wreck.

The running out of road excuse is complete BS. In a bike race, you choose where to be. The peloton limits that choice, but where a rider is in a pack is a direct result of decisions that rider made. The choice you make at 10k, 5k or 2k to go can also effect the choices you have at 500m to go. Bos lacked the legs to be in the front and made a series of bad choices towards the end of that race. The result of these bad choices was that he ended up against the edge of some uneven barriers. My guess is that he then perceived that Impey was drifiting into the barriers and his heat-of-the-moment reaction was "If I'm going down, he's going with me."

I see this often in amateur races. Riders half wheel someone, put themselves in a position where one errant move can make their race go very wrong very quickly and then complain that they got a wrecked out. It makes no sense. Bike racing is no different than driving a car. Each rider is entirely responsible for where he puts his front wheel, and the consequences which result from that decision. Which may not be immediate.

If you aren't at the front then you're not going to win. Bos made the decision to try a late, really dicey surge up the left side for no apparent reason whatsoever. What would he accomplish by this? Crack the top-20? This is a pro race. If you don't win (or factor into the win) nobody cares where you finished.

What should Bos have done? Eased on the brakes, slowed a bit, hoped he could get back in the peloton, try again next time. That's the great thing about being a pro. Next time is just a few days away.

If Bos is allowed to race again this year, riders should protest. Refuse to start is he is in the peloton. He is clearly dangerous and lacks either the skills, decision making abilities or the judgment to race his bike at that level.

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