of cheating, and all the riders' temper tantrums
, and the inappropriate contract negotiations
mid race, no one wants to see any of them win.
We want to see them fall.
As the race starts to resemble reality TV more than an athletic event, anyone with a casual interest in the Tour de France isn't watching to see how it goes, they are watching to see how it goes wrong. And it goes wrong all the time, in every direction. I like the Tour, but as long as the following four hunks of insanity are still predominant in the race, then the spectacle will always outweigh the sport and I will only watch for the disasters it consistently spits out.
Baseball can take comfort at the NA meetings knowing that as close as it comes to rock bottom with performance-enhancing drugs, it will never sink as low as cycling. Drug use is so abundant in the Tour de France that it would be more difficult to point to riders who haven't been convicted or accused of doping than those who have. Each year, scandals overshadow the event as riders are kicked out for failing drug tests before turning around to accuse other riders until the controversy gets more
than the Tour. The whole thing feels like a witch hunt, except one where everyone actually is a witch, and they use their magic to ride bicycles really fast.
"C'mon, Dorothy, what are you? A pussy? Race me!"
This isn't a recent phenomenon either; the Tour de France has an illustrious history of incentivizing cheaters. During the first few years of the race, cyclists used ether and alcohol to