The lady doth protest too much?

Cote du Lofthouse

Tour de Yorkshire: Stage 2 – Tadcaster to Harrogate

There’s a time and place for politics, but I like to think for a lot of cycling fans that place is not in televised bike racing.

All of which, to British fans at least, makes the General Election on June 8 notable for one thing– it clashes with Stage 5 of the Criterium du Dauphine, which strikes me as terrible planning on the Government’s part. I have a lot of sympathy for whoever it was on Twitter who said the only “General” they wished to see on their time line was one followed by the word “Classification”.

One Lady decided she would breech this sentiment last weekend during the Tour de Yorkshire, standing alone in the middle of the politics/bike racing Venn Diagram (she and one wag flying what looked like a North Korea flag) in a bid to bring a protest tradition, only seen before at the business end of Bernard Hinault’s right fist, to the roads of Britain.

Holding aloft a banner at the side of the road, she’d intended for the TV cameras to pick up her cause, not once as the breakaway passed her, but twice, as the peloton sought to catch up.

Had the lady had more knowledge of road racing, and not merely the intention of flouting her cause, she might have considered camping out on the Cote du Lofthouse rather than a section of road where riders swept passed at something close to 50 kph. That made this blurry yellow hand-held sign visible only to those living in perpetual slow motion, or at least quick to hit pause on the nearby remote.

No political shoutiness then, which made the encouraging signs of civility all the more welcome — moto-riders, usually scorned by the peloton for aiding, abetting, and generally getting in the way, waving their thanks as the peloton moved aside to let them, and a police out rider, pass safely.

We can only assume on their way to pick up the lady with the sign.

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