There has been much debate over recent ‘transgressions’ in the pro peloton. Who can forget Tom Dumoulin’s unfortunate episode in the Giro d’Italia? He needed a shit and it looked like his rivals took advantage of the situation by riding off with the toilet paper.
Put yourself in Tom’s Sidi shoes (before the event). Imagine descending the mighty Stelvio at 80 kmph on a bike, wearing the leader’s pink jersey, surrounded by TV cameras whilst managing a turtlehead.
How was he going to wipe his bum? Not on his jersey, that would be disrespecting the maglia rosa……no, The Wattmeister can reveal that his mitts paid the ultimate price…..it is OK to disrespect mitts.
Fast forward to the frenzy of last Sunday’s Stage 9 of the Tour de France. On the final climb of Mont du Chat…..a mountain that the legendary Eddy Merckx declared was the hardest he had ever ridden in a Grand Tour….yellow jersey wearer Chris Froome raised his arm for assistance from the SKY team car. He wasn’t looking for a push but he may have needed toilet paper….who knows?
Anyway, precisely 0.1 second after his arm was raised, Fabio Aru decided that this would be a good moment to attack. Aru literally passed under the outstretched armpit of the leader, and, having recently had a nose operation to improve his breathing, was in a great position to endorse Froome’s choice of anti-perspirant deodorant.
For the readers of this blog who do not understand cycling etiquette, this is NOT the done thing. It is more important to respect the leader’s jersey than it is to win the race…this is not a joke.