Tour de France - ambiguous messages - sports
The Tour de France may have offered a stirring spectacle that provided credibility this year. But there are still doubts.
After all, one has preserved the composure at this Tour de France, which at times flirted with the unreality, as the tour organ L'Équipe balance sheet. Patrick Lefevere, the mighty and often controversial patron of the Belgian Quickstep team, told all his critics on Twitter that they should "fuck off". What do all the "losers" and "semi-journalists" imagine questioning his brave Julian Alaphilippe?
Loulou, as they call him in France, had dominated the heavy one-day races in the spring, and those who succeed there can not compete with the best in a Tour de France for three weeks through the high mountains. But then Alaphilippe actually rushed for two weeks in the yellow jersey through France, as if he could shake his esprit and the ever-increasing fatigue from his legs. It took until the last weekend, before he slipped the victory and also a podium finish. After all, that seemed a bit more plausible, because more human.
Or was that again suspicious, because Alaphilippe had left behind as a total fifth also many seasoned riders?
The tour may have offered a stirring spectacle this year that also conveyed many messages of credibility. The British team Ineos, which had aroused much suspicion in recent years, although the victorious for the seventh time in eight years, but seemed vulnerable for a long time. Many climbing times of the favorites seemed at least plausible, for example by the Frenchman Thibaut Pinot, who already appeared to be racing against the overall victory before he got injured on the 19th stage - and cried so bitterly that his tears would fill all the glacier lakes in the Alps can. And the truth is that cycling has recently invested a lot in its fraud investigation, even controlled until the start on this tour - a lesson learned from the recent fraud cases at the Nordic World Ski Championships.
But the truth also includes that many speed-makers are still flushed into the market, where no test turns out, or that still strained staff is on the move, even if the sins of the past do not necessarily tell about success in the present. At Quickstep, by the way, Yvan Van Mol continues to be involved as a team doctor: the Belgian, like Lefevere, has been repeatedly associated with unfair methods (which both categorically deny).
It is not the fault of the "losers", as Lefevere believes. The sport itself is still responsible for that.