WELL, we’ve just about seen it all now at the Tour de France.
I thought road spikes were saved only for wild American police car chases, but now they’ve somehow crossed the Atlantic and found themselves on the streets of France and, more worryingly from an Aussie perspective, stuck in Cadel Evans’ tyres.
The defending Tour champion had to stop three times for tyre changes during Monday morning’s stage after a rogue spectator threw dozens of tacks onto the road.
Around 30 riders were affected near the Mur de Peguere climb, about 39km from the finish of stage 14, and Croatian Robert Kiserlovski was rushed to hospital as a result of his crash.
For the most part, sportsmanship prevailed as overall leader Bradley Wiggins and the peloton slowed down to allow affected riders to catch up.
However, French rider Pierre Rolland didn’t get the memo as he immediately attacked to make the most of the situation.
Rolland was eventually chased down and Wiggins had a stern word in his ear.
It remains unclear as to what the tack thrower’s motives were but you’ve got to ask how could someone possibly bring themselves to do this?
As one commentator rightly pointed out, someone could’ve died from this incident.
It begs the question how, in this day and age, spectators are still allowed to get so close to the action during the Tour de France.
Only last year, one rider was sent flying into a barbed wire fence after one roadside fan got too close, not to mention the countless times we’ve seen dogs, cameramen and security personnel cause havoc.
STORM HAVE ‘LOST AURA’ IN MELBOURNE
Not so long ago, Melbourne’s Olympic Park was referred to as “the Graveyard” because visiting NRL teams simply didn’t win there.
Now, at the new state-of-the-art AAMI Park, it seems like teams go there with more and more confidence.
This season in particular has been a bad one for the Storm in Melbourne as the competition front-runners have now lost three in a row at AAMI Park, which is unheard of.
Yes, they have all come around the Origin period but I think it’s fair to say the Storm would’ve expected to beat the Tigers, Raiders and Cowboys on their home turf.
The Panthers, Titans and Sharks will go to Melbourne in the remaining seven rounds and all three sides will now go there with confidence that probably didn’t exist when the draw was first released.
On an unrelated note, former Storm coaching staff member John Donehue has been linked to Chris Judd’s chicken wing tackle on North Melbourne’s Leigh Adams.
Donehue, an ex-bodyguard of Nelson Mandela, is now a specialist coach at Carlton but the notion that he inspired (for the lack of a better word) Judd’s nasty tackle seems a bit far-fetched to me.
DROGBA TOUCHES DOWN IN CHINA
Former Chelsea megastar Didier Drogba was greeted by hundreds of chanting fans at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport on Saturday after signing a lucrative two-year deal with Chinese Super League soccer side Shanghai Shenhua.
To say it’s a “lucrative” deal probably doesn’t do it justice. Drogba, an Ivory Coast international, will reportedly earn around $314,000 a week.
Drogba has stressed the move was not motivated by money, but rather the challenge of helping Chinese football, which has been marred by match-fixing scandals in recent years.
However, I have little doubt that his $16 million salary helped him make up his mind. In fairness, we shouldn’t be too cynical as Drogba regularly donates large sums to help finance hospitals and schools in Africa.