On Rule #42: Running is Balls, Even for the Maillot Jaune

[rule number =42/]

Alright people, we heard you. Chris Froome ran. But he was going to lose the Tour de France. I’ve got news for you: Cyclocrossers run, too. So do convicts, burglars, children, footballers, and triathletes. And anyone who has ever seen a Grizzly Bear up close. And all of them ran because they were going to lose something. The person with the bear has the best case here, as far as I’m concerned, and I’ll be disappointed if they didn’t trip something with a heartbeat just to gain a little extra advantage.

Because if you’re already stooping so low as to run, your life better be on the line, and you better be willing to play dirty.

You know what the worst kind of running is? A road cyclist in carbon-soled shoes designed to be so inflexible that even Admiral Tarkin would approve of them. I once jacked up a cyclocross bike so badly I had to break the chain to get it unwound, and because I didn’t have a chain tool I ran the rest of the lap to finish the race. Finishing the race on foot was almost as humiliating as crashing because I was too dumb to appreciate that 15 PSI tires don’t corner as tightly as 110 PSI tires do.

Worst. Day. Of. My. Life.

Including that time I crapped my pantaloons on a transcontinental flight in India.

In conclusion of Froome’s Rule #42 violation, here are the facts:

  1. Yes, Chris Froome was knocked down by race motos. (He actually crashed into another rider who was knocked down by another rider who was knocked down by a race moto.)
  2. Yes, Chris Froome was in the Maillot Jaune and everybody knows everybody with any dignity always waits for the Maillot Jaune, no matter how many riders from the crash actually caused them to crash.
  3. Yes, Chris Froome’s bike was broken. I’m not trying to be adversary here, but do you remember when COTHO’s bike broke in a crash on Luz Ardiden and he just rode it home to win the stage anyway? Yeah, me too. And that guy was a dick. And only dicks ride broken bikes. Chris Froome is less of a dick so shouldn’t need to ride a broken bike. Obviously.
  4. Jens Voigt once rode a child’s bike to finish a stage within the time limit. Jens Voigt used to eat broken bikes for breakfast, just to keep regular.
  5. Chris Froome looked so completely awful running in his little carbon ballerina slippers that he should lose the Tour de France on appearances alone.

The verdict is: he violated Rule #42 and the UCI turned a blind eye to how rotten a runner he is. Next they’ll allow motors in bike races while pretending to scan for them.

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71 Replies to “On Rule #42: Running is Balls, Even for the Maillot Jaune”

  1. LOL at the Jensie factoid at the bottom. @frank could be onto something there. Chuck Norris got some time in the light having good endless facts conceived about him. Why not Jens?!

     

  2. Excellent piece Frank. I watched Froome mincing up Ventoux in utter disbelief. Surely there could be few clearer violations of  Rule 42. I was also a bit alarmed that his $18,000 Dogma couldn’t survive a nudge from a Moto as well. Surely the situation called for a casual inspection of the damage, a Gallic shrug of the shoulders and a patient wait for the replacement hideously expensive carbon Pinarello which apparently used champagne stems for seat posts. Having never worn the Maillot Jaune or even come close to winning any of my local D grade races should not of course disqualify me from criticising him, just as it doesn’t prevent me from shouting tactical orders at the TV. Rule #42 is there for a reason – it prevents us from looking even more ridiculous than we already do. A grown man wearing a yellow skivvy trying to climb a mountain in tiny tip toes does not help our cause.

  3. The absolutely heartbreaking sight of Froome running without his bike must have factored into the decision to award him Molemma’s time and keep him in Yellow. I’ve not been his greatest fan but this Tour has shown a tenacity that few can match. Chapeau Chris Froome. You may run ugly and ride ugly but you’re a better man than most on that mountain.

  4. They made the wrong call. Froome made the wrong call. Abandoning your bike without a replacement is wrong. Running? wrong, wrong, wrong. This was a racing incident.

    This could have been one of the great stories of the Tour, the leading rider dealt a cruel blow just as he was about to crush his rivals, waits interminably long for his trusty lieutenants to come to his aid, finally to the dismay of his legions of fans he completes the course to face an enormous deficit the following day, which of course he duly recovers with one of the greatest ITT in history, driven by anger at his treatment and the energy he saved whilst waiting tranquillo for a bike to ride to the finish the day before.

    Holding onto a moto is also wrong.

  5. Loved the footage of him on the yellow toy bike with the Mavic pedals though. Reminded me a lot of my pedalling style and bike handling skills.

  6. Something else is bothering me.  There’s all this hoohah about disc brakes not being compatible and the neutral service is going to be up the shit, because disc brakes are the work of the devil (not that devil).  Not only are they rotating blades of death, but they render the neutral service vehicle useless…

    What the fuck did we just see?  They didn’t have a bike that fitted the leader of the race, in either size or shoes. It would have been just as useful if it did have disc brakes.

    I reckon more riders should be signing on in the morning in MTB shoes.  Just in case.

  7. All neutral bikes should be fitted with flat rubber pedals so what cleat system isn’t a problem.

     

    I’m just glad the commissaires came to the correct decision – it would have been a travesty if Froome had lost yellow because of fuckwit fans and too many close motos.

  8. @Owen

    @Frank You should give us a list of rules that it is and is not OK for the pros to break. Just so we all know.

    Ignoring the grammatical errors in your request:

    Rules that are OK for the Pros to break: Zero.

    Rules that are Not OK for the Pros to break: All of them.

    The fact is, The Rules aren’t about Looking Pro, they are about Looking (and therefore feeling) Fantastic.

  9. @Clank

    Excellent piece Frank. I watched Froome mincing up Ventoux in utter disbelief. Surely there could be few clearer violations of Rule #42. I was also a bit alarmed that his $18,000 Dogma couldn’t survive a nudge from a Moto as well. Surely the situation called for a casual inspection of the damage, a Gallic shrug of the shoulders and a patient wait for the replacement hideously expensive carbon Pinarello which apparently used champagne stems for seat posts. Having never worn the Maillot Jaune or even come close to winning any of my local D grade races should not of course disqualify me from criticising him, just as it doesn’t prevent me from shouting tactical orders at the TV. Rule #42 is there for a reason – it prevents us from looking even more ridiculous than we already do. A grown man wearing a yellow skivvy trying to climb a mountain in tiny tip toes does not help our cause.

    You, my son, are going places. Exceptionally strong work. Champagne Stems for seat posts, that is some solid French design filtering into those Italian frames. We need to look into that. There must be some tax violations in there somewhere, that could be fun.

    And for the record, even if you’re fat, slow, and stupid, it doesn’t disqualify us (me) from judging wildly from the comfort of our favorite armchair.

  10. @Alwi Yunus

    The absolutely heartbreaking sight of Froome running without his bike must have factored into the decision to award him Molemma’s time and keep him in Yellow. I’ve not been his greatest fan but this Tour has shown a tenacity that few can match. Chapeau Chris Froome. You may run ugly and ride ugly but you’re a better man than most on that mountain.

    In all fairness, I agree, but keep that between us, if you will. Not a usual Tour but now we are still looking at big time gaps. Le Tour is just destined to never be as rad as the Giro.

  11. @piwakawaka

    They made the wrong call. Froome made the wrong call. Abandoning your bike without a replacement is wrong. Running? wrong, wrong, wrong. This was a racing incident.

    This could have been one of the great stories of the Tour, the leading rider dealt a cruel blow just as he was about to crush his rivals, waits interminably long for his trusty lieutenants to come to his aid, finally to the dismay of his legions of fans he completes the course to face an enormous deficit the following day, which of course he duly recovers with one of the greatest ITT in history, driven by anger at his treatment and the energy he saved whilst waiting tranquillo for a bike to ride to the finish the day before.

    Holding onto a moto is also wrong.

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, aaaaaaaand….yes.

  12. What bothers me is that he abandoned his mortally wounded bike to the baying mob. Froome briefly lost his mind as the overwhelming urge to win took over but the image should have of him carrying his dead steed with him. In this there would have been great poignancy.

    Ultimately, I need to look into my heart and find forgiveness though. I do this because the man attacked the peloton with the rainbow jersey and it was good. The man also descended like an absolute mentalist and it was truly exhilarating/terrifying.

  13. @frank

    @Clank

    Excellent piece Frank. I watched Froome mincing up Ventoux in utter disbelief. Surely there could be few clearer violations of Rule #42. I was also a bit alarmed that his $18,000 Dogma couldn’t survive a nudge from a Moto as well. Surely the situation called for a casual inspection of the damage, a Gallic shrug of the shoulders and a patient wait for the replacement hideously expensive carbon Pinarello which apparently used champagne stems for seat posts. Having never worn the Maillot Jaune or even come close to winning any of my local D grade races should not of course disqualify me from criticising him, just as it doesn’t prevent me from shouting tactical orders at the TV. Rule #42 is there for a reason – it prevents us from looking even more ridiculous than we already do. A grown man wearing a yellow skivvy trying to climb a mountain in tiny tip toes does not help our cause.

    You, my son, are going places. Exceptionally strong work. Champaign Stems for seat posts, that is some solid French design filtering into those Italian frames. We need to look into that. There must be some tax violations in there somewhere, that could be fun.

    Land for the record, even if you’re fat, slow, and stupid, it doesn’t disqualify us (me) from judging widely from the comfort of our favorite armchair.

    If it had simply been a broken seat post he would probably have carried on a la Contador, standing rather than sitting, which would have been considerably more impressive than the Speedplay Shuffle. Looks as though it was the seat stay rather than the post –
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BH2X4oJgEXJ/ .

  14. @Steve Trice

    @frank

    @Clank

    Excellent piece Frank. I watched Froome mincing up Ventoux in utter disbelief. Surely there could be few clearer violations of Rule #42. I was also a bit alarmed that his $18,000 Dogma couldn’t survive a nudge from a Moto as well. Surely the situation called for a casual inspection of the damage, a Gallic shrug of the shoulders and a patient wait for the replacement hideously expensive carbon Pinarello which apparently used champagne stems for seat posts. Having never worn the Maillot Jaune or even come close to winning any of my local D grade races should not of course disqualify me from criticising him, just as it doesn’t prevent me from shouting tactical orders at the TV. Rule #42 is there for a reason – it prevents us from looking even more ridiculous than we already do. A grown man wearing a yellow skivvy trying to climb a mountain in tiny tip toes does not help our cause.

    You, my son, are going places. Exceptionally strong work. Champaign Stems for seat posts, that is some solid French design filtering into those Italian frames. We need to look into that. There must be some tax violations in there somewhere, that could be fun.

    Land for the record, even if you’re fat, slow, and stupid, it doesn’t disqualify us (me) from judging widely from the comfort of our favorite armchair.

    If it had simply been a broken seat post he would probably have carried on a la Contador, standing rather than sitting, which would have been considerably more impressive than the Speedplay Shuffle. Looks as though it was the seat stay rather than the post -https://www.instagram.com/p/BH2X4oJgEXJ/ .

    Good point Steve – was indeed the seat stay, not post and thus bike was fubar. Still a bit disconcerting that you could conceivably pay that much for a bike (not this black duck) and have it destroyed by a large scooter. I’d accept an Abrams main battle tank but you’re unlikely to encounter one of them in the Ventoux. Would fix your crowd problem though.

  15. @frank

    Pretty sure a second moto came up on the tiny carbon soled dancer lying in a heap from the first moto caused pile up and ran over his 18k dogma.  Still a stupid bike but a bit more understandable as to why it’s cracked like Nairo’s desire to win the race…

  16. @justindcady

    And what is this shit about shortening the stage because of a little cross wind?!! What a sight that would have been: all those skinny little climbers blown into Spain!! 
    @Clank

     

  17. @kybikegirl

    @frank

    Pretty sure a second moto came up on the tiny carbon soled dancer lying in a heap from the first moto caused pile up and ran over his 18k dogma. Still a stupid bike but a bit more understandable as to why it’s cracked like Nairo’s desire to win the race…

    Giving that last sentence a thumbs up. I am fully expecting a report of bronchitis or allergies or paracoccidiomycoses infection in the next few days. Oh Nairo, prove us wrong.

  18. @Ed

    @justindcady

    And what is this shit about shortening the stage because of a little cross wind?!! What a sight that would have been: all those skinny little climbers blown into Spain!!
    @Clank

    The end times have arrived… this morning on radio I heard a golfer trash-talking cycling.

    He was some functionary connected to the Open which is apparently on at the moment.

    The reporter asked him a question along the lines of the conditions yesterday being much better for the earlier starters than those who teed off later. To which he replied that this wasn’t like the Tour de France, they don’t play 17 holes instead of 18 because of some wind and the players know that.

    Had I been eating cereal I would have choked on it. Truly the signs of the apocalypse are with us.

  19. What do you do when you meet the Buddha on the road?

    Kill him.

    Being in yellow looks fantastic. The top spot on the podium in Paris looks fantastic. Therefore, every second saved is fantastic. Rule #43 is the finger pointing to the moon; look at it and you miss the true glory. Froome was right to run.

  20. @LawnCzar

    What do you do when you meet the Buddha on the road?

    Kill him.

    Being in yellow looks fantastic. The top spot on the podium in Paris looks fantastic. Therefore, every second saved is fantastic. Rule #43 is the finger pointing to the moon; look at it and you miss the true glory. Froome was right to run.

    Whoops, typo on the rule number. Womp womp.

  21. @Al Shepherd

    What bothers me is that he abandoned his mortally wounded bike to the baying mob. Froome briefly lost his mind as the overwhelming urge to win took over but the image should have of him carrying his dead steed with him. In this there would have been great poignancy.

    That adds a Rule #4 violation to the list of transgressions, not to mention Rule #65 because when your machine is broken, you should build a funeral pyre and put it to rest properly, not discard it like a used-up rag.

    @Oli

    Feckin’ iPad. Thumbs and late nights don’t play well together!

  22. @frank

    Call me pedantic, but the bike race to which you refer was neither preceded by a swim nor followed by a run, therefore a violation of Rule #42 did not occur. That is my legal opinion. Perhaps you should consider an amendment to the rule to include unnecessary and unsightly running during road races.

    My personal opinion, however, is that my eyes can never unsee that yellow streak of misery trotting up that hill in his tiny carbon soled ballerina shoes. Mentally scarred for life, I am.

  23. @Ed

    @justindcady

    And what is this shit about shortening the stage because of a little cross wind?!! What a sight that would have been: all those skinny little climbers blown into Spain!!
    @Clank

    Gold!

    @kybikegirl

    @frank

    Pretty sure a second moto came up on the tiny carbon soled dancer lying in a heap from the first moto caused pile up and ran over his 18k dogma. Still a stupid bike but a bit more understandable as to why it’s cracked like Nairo’s desire to win the race…

    And more gold!

  24. @ChrisO

    @Ed

    @justindcady

    And what is this shit about shortening the stage because of a little cross wind?!! What a sight that would have been: all those skinny little climbers blown into Spain!!
    @Clank

    The end times have arrived… this morning on radio I heard a golfer trash-talking cycling.

    He was some functionary connected to the Open which is apparently on at the moment.

    The reporter asked him a question along the lines of the conditions yesterday being much better for the earlier starters than those who teed off later. To which he replied that this wasn’t like the Tour de France, they don’t play 17 holes instead of 18 because of some wind and the players know that.

    Had I been eating cereal I would have choked on it. Truly the signs of the apocalypse are with us.

    That confirms it. The end is indeed nigh.

  25. @frank

    @Rick

    To be fair I think is should be pointed out that even in a panicked state, Mr. Froome adhered to Rule #65.

    It must be cherished, and when leaning it against a wall, must be leaned carefully such that only the bars, saddle, or tires come in contact with the wall or post. This is true even when dismounting prior to collapsing after the World Championship Time Trial.

    How did he adhere to it? He chucked it away, non?

    He placed it carefully against the fence so that only the bars and saddle were in contact.

  26. @DVMR

    Agree: IF Mr. Froome had continued to carry his steed as he minced his way up Mt. Ventoux, THAT would have been worthy of admiration, exultation even.  Instead, he abandoned his loyal Dogma as if abandoning his pooch on a dark country lane because it pooped in his shoes.  For shame, Mr. Froome.  For shame.

  27. @frank

    @Rick

    To be fair I think is should be pointed out that even in a panicked state, Mr. Froome adhered to Rule #65.

    It must be cherished, and when leaning it against a wall, must be leaned carefully such that only the bars, saddle, or tires come in contact with the wall or post. This is true even when dismounting prior to collapsing after the World Championship Time Trial.

    How did he adhere to it? He chucked it away, non?

    He didn’t just chuck it into the crowd. He deliberately leaned it against one of the motos that had stopped.

  28. I don’t blame him one bit; the place was a shit-show. The mob of people were in charge and he made a decision, we have no idea what his race radio was telling him to do.

    If I was on his radio I would have told him to haul ass, leave the bike we are on the way and will catch up as fast as we can make our way through this drunken mob in their fucked up outfits.

    This was a case of the fans getting what they wanted with no thoughts for the safety or fairness of the race.  If Froome or any of the other riders crashed on their own, in a open area with zero outside influences and started running without their bike it would be a different matter, but this was crowd induced.

    I say shame on the officials for allowing such things, and like any kind of mob or crowd that gets its way- it just emboldens them for further douchbagery.

     

     

  29. @Dean C

    I don’t blame him one bit; the place was a shit-show. The mob of people were in charge and he made a decision, we have no idea what his race radio was telling him to do.

    If I was on his radio I would have told him to haul ass, leave the bike we are on the way and will catch up as fast as we can make our way through this drunken mob in their fucked up outfits.

    This was a case of the fans getting what they wanted with no thoughts for the safety or fairness of the race. If Froome or any of the other riders crashed on their own, in a open area with zero outside influences and started running without their bike it would be a different matter, but this was crowd induced.

    I say shame on the officials for allowing such things, and like any kind of mob or crowd that gets its way- it just emboldens them for further douchbagery.

    10-4 to all this. Froome did not stand around but made things happen by taking off up the road in what was a purely wacked situation. I love it. Oh if only he’d hoisted his bike on to his shoulder and took off it would’ve been pure gold. Or have jumped on the downed moto… joking.

    @kybikegirl >>> cracked like Nairo’s desire… <<< I bet you’re right about this! Perfect. Maybe, just maybe, he’s icy cold cool and simply waiting for the last week… doubt it.

     

  30. @Dean C

    Agreed. Personally, I blame Poland, or at least that numb-nuts wearing the Polish flag with a sign which stated (if my Polish is up to snuff) “I am a douchbag, run me over.”

    I’m just glad my kids weren’t watching it go down with me (their vocabularies would have been expanded mightily).

  31. I think that a couple of things need to be considered here:even though these pros do it regularly and for a living, crowds like they had on the Ventoux have got to make the top riders shit scared. They know that one of two drunken assholes can wreck their race and/or their season. Add in the physical effort to the psychological stress and the adrenalin must be pumping like crazy. If I was in Froome’s Sidis, would I want to just stand there amidst the braying mob and suffer untold indignities or get the hell out of there, however ungainly? He made a split second call and ran, giving us what will, quite frankly, be one of the classic Tour images.

    BTW, I’ve seen the footage of wee Nairo getting some “neutral” assistance care of a Mavic wheel. Movistar need to STFU.

  32. Just one observation.  Isn’t there a rule which states that riders involved in a crash within 3km of the finish will get the same time as the group they crashed with?  Maybe this is only true for sprint finishes?  If not, the they were right to give Frome and Porte the same time as Mollema.  Rules are Rules, and must be followed.

  33. @VbyV

    Apparently that rule doesn’t apply on uphill/mountain finishes, so in the end it was up to the commissaire’s discretion. I’m sure their decision was helped by Adam Yates’ loudly and repeatedly stated wishes that he not get the jersey through this incident.

     

    @Dean C

    Hear, hear.

     

    I love that Froome has said that they’re constantly joking about the running in the Sky bus – imagine if he was taking it all too seriously when it’s so patently ridiculous!

  34. Porte should have punched him in the face for running too close to the riders as he rode past.

    Also, it happens more often than you might think:

     

  35. @dyalander

    Porte should have punched him in the face for running too close to the riders as he rode past.

    Also, it happens more often than you might think:

    Cancellara pacing Contador back in their Saxo days.

  36. PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME, PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME, PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME, PEANUT BETTER WITH A BASEBALL BAT………………

     

  37. @frank

    I recall a story about you running across a bike course during a certain French road race in 2006. Another good reason for you to eschew running.

    Maybe Paolo Salvodelli gave you a passing thought last week too.

     

  38. @frank

    I must argue in the Rechtbank van eerste aanleg  (thanks, Wikipedia).  Court of First Instance on behalf of Monsieur Froome.

    Upon the last paragraph of explanation of Rule #42, …and should only run if being chased. And even then, one should only run fast enough to prevent capture. (sic)

    Your Honor, I rest my case.

     

     

     

  39. @frank

    @Owen

    @Frank You should give us a list of rules that it is and is not OK for the pros to break. Just so we all know.

    Ignoring the grammatical errors in your request:

    Rules that are OK for the Pros to break: Zero.

    Rules that are Not OK for the Pros to break: All of them.

    The fact is, The Rules aren’t about Looking Pro, they are about Looking (and therefore feeling) Fantastic.

    Grammatical errors add nuance and character to my posts, like a fine wine.

    Which is better, to look fantastic atop the podium in Paris or stand there to avoid running? Someone somewhere argued that he *was* being chased and only ran fast enough to avoid losing yellow.

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