Anyone Can Race a Grand Tour
1“…anything that undermines the image of cycling or the Vuelta…” Victor Cordero, Unipublic, Organizer of Vuelta a España, on team exclusion if caught doing “anything stupid”
April Fools! If it weren’t a prank of the day and anyone could race any event just from desire, cycling’s standard of excellence would have little value. So the Grand Tours have exclusive entry. Basing these decisions not just on objective ranking or competitiveness by class raises criticism and alarm by others who wish to decide who races what. Governing bodies are in dispute over jurisdiction to determine race entry. Teams have been excluded based on arbitrary factors, such as the probability of wrong doing and public image.
The argument is that a leopard doesn’t change its spots and neither does a team change its culture if it hires a new squad but retains staff with a similar mode of operation. Calling something new doesn’t mean methods changed. The same ol’, same ol’ is an offender caught but without admission of wrong-doing who then affiliates with others who display seemingly no sorrow for guilt by association. The affiliations and actions of a fool give away a cheating heart. These hardened tend not to admit guilt publicly preferring to spin a slick, but dishonest public relations message, and avoid being vocal about reparations and cleaner operations. They certainly never enter the fight against bad behavior.
There’s a difference between hardmen who win hard races and the hard-hearted who try to win at all costs. Redemption is nigh for someone caught who confesses and repents. The truly strong have soft hearts that confess mistakes and renewed determination to do right.
The peloton is a bit more sophisticated than to be fooled by the same product in different packaging. Look beyond the jersey into the heart to see a little deeper. There’s a reason not anyone can race a Grand Tour.
Prayer for Public Relations
“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” 2Proverbs 13:20
We are glad that wisdom rubs off and that foolishness can be unlearned. We confess we are so foolish for public admiration we ignore the true means for getting it. We pray for genuinely positive relations with the public not from spinning half-wheeled truths but because of wise living.
Ponder Do I know what’s really going on? Do I notice what is not going on? Affirm I practice good PR in pace with the wise. Watch how others do what they do before deciding to join forces with them.
1“Cordero warns Astana not to do anything stupid,” First Edition Cycling News, March 28, 2008 Edited by Laura Weislo with assistance from Susan Westemeyer www.cyclingnews.com
2The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society