July 08, 2004
Simoni whining again
"I feel really bad, I just want to go home," said the 32-year-old Simoni, who earlier this year had to suffer the humiliation of seeing a younger teammate, Damiano Cunego, take the Giro's pink jersey and hold onto it until the race finish in Milan.
"I can cope with bad luck, but what can I do about race regulations? One hundred and twenty guys finished behind me yesterday, but I lost a minute more than them. It's a stupid rule.
"I came here hoping to win the race but my morale is in my boots. I've never liked the Tour anyway. I want to go home. I'll be carrying on, and we'll see what happens. But it's really difficult when it's like this."
Alitalia is ready when you are, Gibo.
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Typical Simoni. He was far more likable before he started winning the Giro; after that it was all ludicrous trash-talk followed by crap rides in the Tour.
Great, but erratic (and annoying) rider.
Posted by: Andy at Jul 9, 2004 9:38:49 AM
With the weather being unpredictable there, I would like to know if serious weather does occur, is the race stopped and continued after serious weather passes? I mean thunder, lighening, tornado, big hail. It is too bad a number of riders have stepped down from race probably due to weather related problems.
Posted by: Nancy at Jul 9, 2004 11:12:29 AM
Simoni may be a whiner, but Lance Armstrong is far from perfect. I still cannot understand why he left the stricken Joseph Beloki screaming in agony on the mountain during last years tour. Any decent human-being would have at least comforted the poor man until the medics arrived, but not Armstrong as he was too intent on taking advantage of the situation. It makes no difference that Beloki was one of his main rivals at the time and Ulrich was expected to wait for Armstrong when he fell off on a later stage. Had Beloki been in last place, it was a horrendous crash, Beloki was obviously in a terrible state and any decent person would have stopped and comforted him until help arrived. To make matters worse, one of Armstrong's team-mates actually crashed and died in similar circumstances in a previous tour. Shame on you Armstrong. I actually posted these comments to the official Tour site in Britain but got no response. Apparently, you are not allowed to say anything bad about Armstrong.
Posted by: Houdi at Jul 25, 2004 4:21:10 PM
Houdi: true, race etiquette states that you wait for a fallen lead rider, but you're not required to wait for one who has literally just crashed out of the race. Secondly, Armstrong had to jump into the adjacent field to avoid going down at 75KPH+ as well. It's not a club ride, and I think that anyone here would agree with me that if Armstrong had crashed out following last year's famous crash with Iban Mayo, Ullrich would have been 100% within his rights to keep going. Be realistic - you don't see marathon runners or track athletes stopping when the competition pulls a hamstring, either.
Posted by: Freddy at Jul 25, 2004 4:32:56 PM
I'm not talking about race etiquette here, or someone merely crashing out of a race either. Beloki was obviously in great distress as you could hear his wailing even on tv. Surely it would have been common decency to at least stop and make sure he was okay. His injuries could have been life threatening. This was not just any everyday race crash and it's hardly fair to make comparisons, especially pulling a hamstring. Beloki still hasn't fully recovered from his injuries even one year on. It was a horrible accident, Beloki could have died from those injuries. If you think Armstrong was right to ignore him then I'm afraid you have a different view on common decency than I have.
Posted by: Houdi at Jul 25, 2004 7:37:04 PM
Houdi: you obviously feel very passionately about this, and I agree that stopping to help a fallen rider is 100% the right and proper thing to do.
But in this case, with medical help literally 30 seconds away, any rider who stopped to "comfort" Beloki would have a) been in the way, and/or b) accidentally moved him, thereby making an already bad situation worse. The Tour is a big event, with professional medical staff no more than minutes away from any rider. There are rules and procedures for every participant to follow in cases such as these (and to prevent riders from attempting emergency tracheotomies with their tire levers).
I'm definitely NOT advocating ignoring a fallen rider. I've been the one hit by a car (cars, actually), I've been the one who crashed out, and I've been the one stopping to help. But I let the medical professionals do what they do best, know what I mean?
Posted by: Freddy at Jul 25, 2004 8:12:32 PM
The situation was such that Armstrong was 100s of meters downhill before he could have stopped, and down a field to boot. With all the noise and Helicopters, there is no way he would have known the extent of the injuries, and had he returned, he knew he would have been 5th in line to help.
Posted by: dan at Jul 27, 2004 12:18:43 AM
Hey, Dan, interesting summary. Just as well BRITISH racing drivers David Purley and James Hunt didn't have the same blinkered attitude when they pulled stricken drivers from their burning F1 cars, despite the presence of race marshalls. But then I guess us Brits must have a different sense of decency, eh?
Posted by: Houdi at Jul 29, 2004 4:13:04 PM
Wow -- the Lance-bashers must really be getting desperate if they've sunk to dragging up this non-issue. Houdi: Did you actually see the coverage of Beloki's crash, or did your theory just whistle out of your arse this morning?
How fast were they going at the time of the crash, Lance-haters? By the time Beloki actually hit the pavement, Lance was already heading down the embankment, doing everything he could just to avoid ending up head-over-arse in the drain at 75 kmph! He said he's never been so scared on a bike in all his life -- imagine how you would feel if the guy just inches in front of you crashes at that kind of speed, the only thing you can do is desperately swerve to avoid him, and you end up heading straight off the road at those speeds! Tell you what -- YOU try swerving to avoid a crash, then safely stopping on a gravel embankment and in a corn field at 75 kmph, and we'll see how fast you come to a halt without sending yourself to the hospital.
Oh, and for the record, as Lance crossed the hundred meters or so of the field and hopped the drain, the REST OF THE LEADERS HAD ALREADY BLOWN RIGHT BY BELOKI. Where's your outrage at them? Was Lance supposed to let the leaders blow by him, turn around, and then pedal back up the road to do what, exactly? -- offer his expert medical assistance? How many other riders would have blown right by Beloki by that time? What could Lance have possibly done? Why didn't any of the others in the lead group stop?
Just when I think the Lance-haters can't get any more ridiculous, they come up with this hair-brained theory.
Posted by: Larry at Jul 29, 2004 5:52:38 PM
This is absurd. I have no trouble calling Lance on bad behavior (viz. the Simeoni incident) but criticizing him for what he did in the Beloki accident is - where he was operating on pure instinct and reflex -- is, as previously stated, simply ludicrous.
Exactly how could Lance have been of any help whatsoever, even if he had been able to stop without crashing himself?? What of the other riders behind, should they have stopped too?
Posted by: lancefan at Jul 29, 2004 6:53:19 PM
You cannot point the finger at Lance and only Lance. There were plenty other riders behind, just as 'lancefan' previously stated. Your argument is completely and utterly fruitless.
Posted by: Chris at Jul 30, 2004 6:14:43 PM
Well, how can I possibly know anything about anything. After all, I'm not American, am I?
Posted by: Houdi at Jul 31, 2004 9:46:18 AM
What's your point, Houdi? Or are you just trolling for a brawl or something? You should get out and ride some of that angst off, man...
Posted by: Freddy at Aug 2, 2004 12:37:38 AM
As to Lance, I believe he is not circumcised properly. That is why his rides are, how shall we call it, reptilian?
Posted by: john feinberg at Oct 29, 2004 12:02:36 PM