We all understand how Twitter works.
Event happens, people react to event, fringe element disagree with mainstream interpretation, insults are flung, conspiracy theories are born, and we all walk away feeling a little less proud of ourselves as a species.
When Team Ineos (nee Sky) are involved, a certain detachment from reality is sure to follow.
Take Chris Froome’s recent crash during a recce of the TT course at the Criterium du Dauphine. He was treated at the roadside before being airlifted to hospital for several hours of surgery and a spell in intensive care.
This was a serious crash.
It happened at high speed and involved a wall.
Froome broke bones, and suffered internal injuries, and we can presumably feel relieved that there was no serious head injury. He’ll be out of competition for several months, it seems.
And then the standard issue thumbs-up-from-a-hospital-bed picture was released on social media and the nonsense began. I really should know better, but I found myself on Twitter delving into a trail of comments which managed to reference everything but a grassy knoll and a suspiciously planted US flag on a lunar surface.
Here we have a classic of the genre: pseudo medical diagnosis on the strength of a photo released by the Ineos PR people.
All a bit odd…doesn’t bear any relation to the injuries reported…where is the neck brace…look at this picture of another cyclist from a different crash who looks more injured…
The insinuations, bubbling away under (and occasionally over) the surface of all this are that the crash was staged.
In order to…what…avoid a drug test? Serve an under the radar drugs ban in cahoots with the UCI? Distract the world’s media from some illicit fracking being carried out by Ineos in Yorkshire?
I chose to bow out of this Twit-storm as quickly as I dipped into it, and like to think it has blown over by now. I mean, to maintain a healthy doubt about the motives, behaviours, and use of medicine by Sky/Ineos is perfectly understandable.
We read the stories and come to our conclusions.
But, just imagine how many people would have to be in on this conspiracy if it were, indeed, a conspiracy: Froome’s family, friends, and teammates; the staff of the hospital treating him; the helicopter pilot who flew him there; Dan Martin, fellow cyclist, who appeared genuinely shaken by the incident…
The list goes on.
The crash happened.
(Top Image: via pixabay.com)