I don’t have a problem with cycling or cyclists or France. However, when you add up the entertainment value, the financial rewards and the wider popularity of the Tour de France, not to mention the incessant drugs scandals, and off-set them against the risk of being seriously hurt, is it worth it? Unlike in most other sports where the injuries are generally minor and very rarely are they life threatening. In cycling one of the most common injuries is a broken collar-bone whilst even a minor crash can leave you with broken bones and the need to graft large sheets of skin from whichever parts of your unprotected body didn’t make contact with the tarmac onto the parts of your unprotected body which did.
Then on top of all the inherent dangers involved in hurtling down mountainsides on slivers of titanium and carbon fibre, without even the minimal cushioning effect of bodily hair, you also have people running you off the road in their cars. Here’s the video of Johnny Hoogerland’s brush with death from yesterday’s stage after an official race car nudged one rider, which led to Johnny’s tangle with a barbed-wire fence. Look at the video and the picture of Johnny’s backside before casting your vote. I would like to add that a previous crash on the same stage saw several riders forced to retire with one breaking a couple of limbs.