Loic Bruni: "Thanks for ruining our first race"
The Champ speaks out
Loic Bruni has lashed out after his run was ruined by yesterday's storm in Lourdes.
In an Instagram post, Bruni said: "Normally they are amazing but after yesterday I can't swallow the taste of that day : Thanks for ruining our first race with keeping the schedule even though we knew it was gonna rain at 4pm... Sick photo by Seb Schieck"
Bruni qualified second and looked set to challenge for the win but a storm that blew in half way through the men's finals meant that Alexandre Fayolle's time could not be beaten. It seems Bruni's opinion is shared by many fans with over 5,000 likes in an hour and supportive comments from Remi Thirion, Yoann Barelli and Thibault Ruffin.
Bruni originally made a more pointed statement but Laurent Delorme, the Specialized Gravity team manager, was quick to leap in. He said: "Team Managers have to talk and submit to the UCI something new in the rules to prevent this type of Hell Race. I'm personally sorry for not being efficient enough to solve that, and will work hard to be sure that we will have fair conditions in the future. I explained that to Loic, and he modified his post. Sorry Fans, sorry riders, we were not the best." [edited for clarity].
As it stands, the UCI rule on bad weather is that: "In the event of bad weather the president of the commissaires' panel may decide to cancel the event after consulting the organiser and, where appointed, the UCI technical delegate." So, at the moment there is only the option of cancellation or going ahead, not moving the race.
You can see Bruni's point, of course, this was the most hyped race in years and it finished as a damp squib. On the other hand, you may just say, "that's racing". A flexible schedule would be tougher for organisers and Red Bull and could mean some fans missing the event. Where do you stand?