I’m a fan of science.
I believe that when “things” are proved using “facts” we get somewhere closer to “the truth”. I may be undermining my argument somewhat by putting speech marks around “the truth,” but it’s best to leave a bit of wiggle room I always think.
Now, before you wander off under the misapprehension that this is a Donald Trump related “fake news” piece, fear not. It isn’t. It’s a “Team-Sky-are-a bit-annoying” piece.
I don’t know about you, but when I return home from a big day on the bike my immediate response is to open the fridge door and devour the contents of the middle shelf right there in the corner of the kitchen.
Not the top shelf, of course, because nutritionally, a range of sauces and chutneys with expired best before dates are not going to get the job done.
Once I’ve done this, if I’m lucky, and have no family related commitments, I will then locate the nearest sofa, scatter a selection of snacks and entertainment within my wingspan, and lie back with feet raised to bask in my recovery.
Sometimes this is the best bit of the ride.
For the pro-cyclists, Team Sky ruined this ritual some years ago. They decided that the best way to recover from a bike ride is to have another bike ride on a static trainer whilst a TV journalist interrogates you.
This is not news, of course – they’ve been doing it for years – and I’m not going to argue with the science of it, but still…
It’s degrading, embarrassing, and weird, and it’s got to stop.
They race epically for four or five hours, and instead of being greeted by the prospect of a rest and a burrito they are forced to climb aboard a static bike, probably with a sore bum, certainly with painful legs, while curious fans gather and take pictures.
Let them have a cup of tea, for god’s sake, and let them do it in private.
The psychological benefits of being allowed to suffer in peace post-ride far outweigh any benefits of the weird spinny-spinny recovery ride. I’ve done the science. Admittedly I’ve done it based on the look on Geraint Thomas’s face when a fan walks past with a massive hot-dog, but it stacks up.
It must do.
And once Sky had been doing it for a while, and coincidentally started winning even more, the other teams felt compelled to join in the whole charade.
“Why aren’t our riders doing the weird spinny-spinny thing?” the team sponsors asked, “they are simply not being humiliated sufficiently. Get them doing it now, or it’ll be brown shorts for them next season!”
And so now they all do it, and it’s not a good look. But neither is brown shorts, so therein lies the problem, I guess.
Like I said, I’m all for science, and I’m not a Team Sky hater as such, I just wish they’d reign in the boffin bit sometimes. Not take it so seriously. Maybe trade a few race wins for a bit more off-the-cuff fun and a bit less of the lab-rat routine.
I’m off to the fridge for another crème caramel.
(Image: By Jaguar MENA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)