Yesterday I came across an article which was funny and sad in the same time. It was about a cycling event where something unprecedented has happened.
It's happened at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad one-day road cycling race in Belgium, where a female cyclist had to be stopped and after her all the female participants because she has reached the male cyclists.
Looks like this is the first time something like this has happened as the organizers were not expecting it. Both male and female cyclists are using the same track but to avoid complications, female cyclists are starting the race ten minutes later. Male cyclists are firts, of course as they think it's the right thing to do.
Well, it looks like we got a new page in the cycling history book, it was demonstrated that ten minutes is not enough and that ten minutes advantage won't make male cyclists better.
Sounds feminist and I'm sure many readers would say that but actions speak for themselves and facts are facts. Nicole Hanselmann has proved she can compete with men even with a 10 minute disadvantage.
Ok, let's look at it from another perspective. You all know a race is an event where every second counts and every move you make is influencing the result. That is why everything has to be perfectly planned in advance. You need to use your energy wisely so it can last. Ever obstacle, every inconvenience is affecting your performance. Some can be avoided and this is one of them. A better organising strategy could have been used to avoid this incident.
Ms Hanselmann was allowed to resume the race after a five-minute pause and ended up finishing 74th, claiming the stoppage had diminished her momentum. She wrote in an Instagram post: "Today was the first spring classic in Belgium. Source
I know from experience when I was doing running trainings, when you stop to do a 5 minutes break, your body starts to rest, your pulse gets back to normal and your muscles also start to cool down, to rest. You lose your advantage gained that far. This is a huge setback. I've learned the hard way not to stop unless I'm done. Continue your training till the end if you want to do the best you can. Stopping is not giving you any advantages.
Remember at formula one when the safety car has to take the lead in case there are obstacles on the circuit. Drivers are going crazy as the tires are cooling off and it's going to take time to warm them up again, not to mention they are losing any advantage they had at that point.
That's what's happened at the cycling event. If the race would have been normally done, I'm pretty sure the winners board would have looked different. Because of this mistake from the organisers part, someone has lost a gold medal and someone else got one that had no chance otherwise.
This is done now, I don't think there's anything someone can do here. The question is what are organisers going to do in the future. Are they going to reconsider the starting time. Will there be a better time management to avoid this unpleasant experience that led to losses? I truly hope this is a lesson not only for the Belgians.