When Worlds Collide…



11/11: Prix de l’armistice. Chateaubernard, France:
It wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see a gigantic barge, staffed by perturbed Frenchmen wielding a crane and blow torches, float into New York Harbor for the purpose of dismantling and reclaiming the Statue of Liberty. Arguably, our current administration isn’t living up to the statue’s title of “Liberty Enlightening the World” and any French contributions to United States history have conveniently been exorcised from our collective memory. We could learn some lessons from our European ally, for instance the commemoration of Armistice Day with a cyclocross race: young men duking it out in dismal, frigid, muddy terrain (albeit minus the firearms, mustard gas, and barbed wire) is a fitting post-modern sporting event/political pantomime all rolled into one. Lest we forget, 1.4 million French, 126,000 American, and about 14,000 Belgian war dead were denied the opportunity to simply wash off the mud and head home at the end of the day. On top of those sobering numbers are the respective wounded: 4.3 million French, 234,300 Americans, and about 47,000 Belgians. If only it were indeed the war to end all wars.

On a lighter note, my cyclocross muse John Gadret put his stamp of authority on the event, but it’s somewhat bittersweet since this race was the 2005/2006 Euro debut of former NC resident, the-tallest-man-in-cycling, a certain Ryan Trebon. I’ll chalk that 1.36 deficit up to jet lag.

And just how freaky tall is Ryan Trebon? The latest VeloNews cover with Trebon and an inset of Paolo Bettini is actually a true to scale representation of their respective heights.

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