Add this to the long list of things we fear.
Yes, along with the rising price of imported beer and the general frowning on extramarital affairs, we add this third scary humiliation: compression calf wear worn during professional bike races.
Okay, if some panel of science flunkies says recovery is 1.892% better when wearing these abominations after a race, so be it. We don’t have to see it in the race photos, our athletic and aesthetic sensibilities are not offended. It was okay on the rest day, excusable off the bike, but please do not pull the old lady thing on us.
If this becomes a race trend we’re done with pro cycling, flat out finished, embarrassed for the sport, horrified by the consequences. We’ll return to tennis or football or anything, stock car racing, billiards, cage fighting — anything where support hose is not worn during the event.
If the UCI is going to ban bike innovation, if they’re going to do a crappy job policing the sport, if they have no other purpose as guardians of cycling, let them ban the calf compression wear. It’s the very least they can do and actually up to the skill level of Patrick “hot air” McQuaid.
Are we going to turn our sport into a laughable side-show? Are we going to have ordinary folk belittle the greatest endurance athletes in the world because they’re riding bikes looking like 80 year old retired Jewish ladies? Marco Pantani is rolling over in his grave, Eddie Merckx just puked in his sink, Bernard Hinault wants to punch the responsible parties now.
Is this the real reason Lance Armstrong retired? The looming specter of support hose worn in race? Any man worth his Pinarello shudders. Marc de Maar of UnitedHealth should have received an automatic six month suspension for “conduct embarrassing to the sport.”
I’d rather rather have EPO and growth hormone handed out free at the races than have to look at race photos of guys in black calf-highs. This is wrong, it is ugly, it is damnation and we must stop it now.
Am I wrong, insane, old school?