Bicycling magazine posted “81 Reasons to Love the Yellow Jersey,” the holy grail of professional cycling. Many races now award the “Maillot Jaune” to the overall winners, but it began with the Tour de France in 1903. Race leaders after each stage merely wear the jersey; it is not awarded until the end of the race to the overall winner. It is possible for the recipient of the yellow jersey to have never one a stage in that Tour. Six riders have done that, the most recent was Oscar Pereiro from Spain (2006). Fourteen riders have quit the Tour while wearing the yellow jersey. That happens only when the rider realizes he has no chance to keep the jersey and will be either so far behind (broken equipment) or is injured or sick and cannot continue. The biggest problems are broken scapulae and clavicles and knee problems. Intestinal problems cause many riders incredible problems. Falls cause riders to withdraw but only 3 have withdrawn wearing the yellow because of falls. Doping has caused riders to be ejected.

Bicycling has drawn huge attention owing to Lance Armstrong and charges of doping. I see this as hypocritical since the outstanding professional performers in virtually every sport exhibit unreal performance statistics. Who is able to throw the first stone?

Location: 15-A3

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