BMC’s Rohan Dennis is &#*@ angry.
Had to sorta laugh about the story in Velonews detailing how Rohan Dennis is an angry hot head.
In pro cycling that means throwing a water bottle at somebody else — a water bottle, folks, not stomping on somebody’s face or ripping a section of their body apart. Not somebody using a sawed off shotgun or running you over with a semi-truck.
Forgive me but skinny guys threatening other skinny guys is kind of a joke. Is anybody worried there will be death and dismemberment if the emaciated Chris Froome and the “tranquillo” Vincenzo Nibali are thrown together in a cage math?
Outcome: nothing happens, audience asleep in minutes.
Maybe some anemic wrestling for two minutes followed by a mutual admission that this is probably a bad idea and that perhaps they should settle the disagreement with some aggressive speed chess.
That’s pro cycling. There’s nothing physically intimidating except on the road up an hors categorie climb when one guys says “I got more legs than you” and rides away. That’s mano a mano but they’re turning pedals in anger, not punching somebody out.
Cycling isn’t boxing or cage fighting or pro football — it’s a niche sport that might be low on personality and certainly low on scary, angry guys ready to wreak havoc. These are guys in tight fitting lycra, people. On some level it’s like ballet on wheels.
Compare that to pro football here in the United States where on every single play extremely violent 260 pound men try to kill everyone on the other team. As in, rip their knee ligaments, rib cages, beating heart and brain parts to pieces.
Every tackle in the NFL finishes with several men who, without a football skill-set might be in prison for violent crime, scream obscenities at each other. Make no mistake, on a massive wide screen TV with HD clarity, you can practically lip read the stream of F-words and feel the spit flying out out their mouths.
Does that sound like Froome or Contador or Quintana? For god sakes Contador, keeps little birds at pets — it might as well be fuzzy rabbits. These are the gentleman of the road compared to these NFL assassins. Pro cyclists get annoyed about guys not respecting the time honored pee-break. In the NFL, they’d cut off your penis for that infraction and stuff in down your throat.
It’s a reminder that there is still an old school code of ethics and behaviors in pro cycling. That will change and that’s sad and inevitable. As the sport tries to move beyond niche-status, there will be a dire need for “personalities.” Bigger than life stars who are controversial and edgy and perhaps borderline violent. Hey, Lance nearly came to blows with a few riders and for good or ill that’s the trajectory we’re on.
There are very few “personalities” in cycling and at the very least, in pure marketing terms, that’s a problem. Even the sport of tennis has had an exciting run of bad boys. In cycling that only means dopers, not crazy, violent, bad-ass dudes. It’s unfortunate that the Colombian riders like Quintana and .. aren’t more volatile.
Calling Rohan Dennis angry and volatile is kinda like saying that a vanilla milkshake with two drops of hot sauce is an inflammatory beverage. Its not, it’s a vanilla shake with a barely perceptible hint of heat. Again, skinny guys who are exhausted and laying down most of the time when not racing are not a dangerous psychographic.
Admit that whatever your age, size, weight, physical shape and aggressive tendencies, you’d feel pretty confident squaring off in a bar fight with anybody in the pro peloton other than Greipel, Cancellara or Phony — . After a few beers, any of us could take out Froome, Aru, Gesink, … One decent punch. They’d be curled up in a fetal position, begging please, please, leave me alone, I’m a pathetic little pro cyclist.
So fine, we’ll let Dennis have the provisional title of Angriest Man in Pro Cycling. Are you frightened because I’m not frightened.