After Bradley Wiggins’ annus mirabilis of success in 2012, his progress in 2013 has been disappointing: missing out on his aim of winning the Giro d’Italia and now announcing the end of his Grand Tour ambitions. We can now reveal the “real reason” for this – the same as for his injury and consequent failure in the 2011 Tour de France.
As readers of this topic know I really don’t want to rubbish the greatest ever road racing cyclist from Britain * (and my ex-club mate). But while he is justified in his status as sporting legend, when it comes to his views on cyclist safety – well, he should have read these posts, or just not commented on the subject. Because after his comments on the Barclays Bike Hire Scheme – a broken collarbone in the Tour de France. And after his comments after the Olympics he has had a so far lacklustre 2013. And now he has been getting it wrong again.
For we can reveal that the “real reason” for these disappointments has been, yes :
The Curse of the Road Danger Reduction movement
The curse of RDR – Wiggo after falling in the Tour 2011 (Daily Mail)
If you’re a legendary cyclist and you say these kind of things despite being given advice – well, The RDR Curse may be visited upon you.
Now, of course, there are those of you who like thinking and referring to evidence who might suggest that the notion of a curse is ridiculous, superstitious, nonsensical rubbish.
And yes, it is.
But then so are plenty of beliefs in contemporary society, and people still hold them. Of course, belief in the effectiveness of cycle crash helmets is not necessarily worse than “asking the angels” for good health, or throwing salt over your shoulder to ward off the “evil eye”.
But there are problems with ignoring evidence. Not least the red herring of cycle helmets being trailed across the national press recently, with even a reasonably balanced article getting it wrong on some issues. Before the crucial debate in Parliament on September 2nd we need to get the right facts in front of us, and that is not happening.
We want Brad Wiggins to win the World Time Trial Championships in 2013. No curse will get in his way. But we would like him to talk sense like another legend of British cycle sport or just stick to what he does well and leave the topic alone.
POSTSCRIPT December 2013.
The rest of 2013 has been kind to Wiggo. We’re pleased with his victory in the Tour of Britain (a more important race than it used to be). His second pace in the World Time Trial Championship was excellent, bearing in mind he was up against the incredible Tony Martin. And there’s plenty more to come.
But if he doesn’t stick to the day job of bike racing and starts talking about safety for every day cycling, we hope he listens to what Chris Boardman might tell him first.