This article is a translation of Japanese ver.
Hi, this is chang.
Last weak I watched the live video of Criterium de Dauphine and was surprised that many audiences did not wear mask. The reporters did not criticize in a apparent way... but it was a dangerous situation. Of course they have the right to watch the race. And in fact bike race can not run without audience. So the followings are my personal favors to the audience of bike race:
- Wear mask.
- Keep quiet, do not scream
- Refrain from unnecessarily eating and drinking
- Do not take alcohol
- If you want to excite with a glass of beer, watch on TV
0. Two positive cases are the end
ASO said "If two cases of COVID-19 are discovered in a team at the Tour de France, the whole team and staff will be removed but the race will continue."*2. "Two cases" reminds me the bad experience of those days.
About ten years ago, there was a rule that if two riders tested to be doped during ground tours, the team were removed from the race. I do not know it was a official rule, but it definitely worked. In Tour de Franc 2008, Ricardo Ricco tested positive before the start of stage 12. Then team Saunier Duval, to which Ricco belonged, immediately left the race. I remember that some journalists said "why they left the race with only one positive...?" Soon after that, Leonardo Piepoli also tested positive. In the result "two cases are the end" rule were observed.
At the time, I started to be crazy about bike race. Giro de Italia 2008, broadcasted lively in j sport channel, grabbed my heart. I became a fun of Ricco. I do not why but Ricco attracted me more than Albert Contador: the winner of the race.
Unfortunately, those days were in the turmoil of doping scandals. Many of my favorite riders were banned. It was very sad experiences because watching the race was a part of my life. I thought sometimes to quit to watching the race. I don't want people to have the same experience. Off course, I do not want again.
1. Infection from audience
COVID-19 was a completely different problem from doping. Doping is the rule violation by riders. It is a little complicated to say...if a rider tests positive in the doping control, it is the responsibility of the rider.
The lack of self control is possible to cause the infection of the virus. For example, if a rider goes to a bar in the night and tests positive, there is no sympathy. It is possible and not joke. Andy Schleck and Stuart O'Grady went out for a drink during Vuelta a Espana 2010 and director Bjarne Riis got angry and made them go home. I think teams should strictly control their riders.
But...there is no way to avoid the infection from audience.
I don't think the social distance among audience kept saved in the mountain stages of Criterium de Dauphine. Some were running close to riders and screamed. I'm afraid that during the coming tour some riders were infected from audience, the virus spread in the team, and in the result the team is forced to be out of the race. The team has nothing to be blamed but they will have to leave the race.
For the teams of world tour, appealing the sponsor in the tour is the reason of existence. If they are removed from the race, it means they are got rid of their job. Already some cases were reported about the sponsor elimination, I think there will be more after the tours. Sponsor problems will affect the race opening even after next year.
2. Infection among riders
We can not argue the infection among players because most of the sports do not work with social distance. It is the collation of professional sports.
Bike race does not run without slip stream. There is no way to maintain social distance among riders. In addition, because riders have to eat and drink during races, more risk is possible. So, I think the infection to riders should be prevented as less as possible.
Today I wrote my personal favors. My hope is to save rides and enjoy bike races for a long time.