Page 15 - DLNoct2014-987
P. 15
later found out that the team officials had gone sightseeing in the
team-car and left them racing in the desert without food or drink. Froome
had to beg some drinks for them from an acquaintance in the South African
team car. One rider couldn’t continue and stopped for the Broom Wagon.
Unfortunately there wasn’t one, or it passed him without stopping He
realised he was on a little-used road and that he had to get out of the
sun to have any chance of survival so he dug a trench in the sand and filled
it in over himself, with just his head outside. At the finish, not seeing him
and with the team-car still missing, the rest of the team assumed he was
swanning around with the team management. When the team staff
re-appeared, that evening, they extolled the virtues of the pyramids and
Mount Sinai but didn’t know where the missing rider was. Neither did the
race organisation. Luckily for him, a Polish team soigneur had left his team’s
radio battery chargers at the start town hotel and was sent to recover
them. It was a long, monotonous, drive that needed headlights – perhaps
why he noticed a bike by the side of the road. He decided to retrieve it.
Then he noticed a helmet too. He decided a rider had probably dumped bike
and helmet for collection when stepping into the Broom wagon and someone
had messed up and forgotten to collect the kit. However when he picked
up the helmet, he found there was a head under it! [In the desert… at
night… ! - good job his heart was in good shape!] By now the rider wasn’t
at risk of death from the heat but hypothermia, as the desert cooled and
he had no energy reserves left to shiver through the night. The Polish
soigneur quickly dug him out and gave him water and he survived. You can
understand why Froome was happy to switch to Team GB (who haven’t lost
anyone in a desert so far..).

At the 2006 Commonwealth Games the Kenyan Federation sprung on
Kinjah that he had to ride track as well as road, despite the fact he’d never
ridden track! “Listen, it’s on a bicycle [the fact they called it a bicycle is
already a bit scary…]. You race on a bicycle. You need to race. So why
can’t you ride the track?” Then they asked the riders to ride the MTB
race but they had no MTBs with them! In the end, 3 riders agreed to ride
the MTB event on bikes bought by the Federation, with the idea they could
send the bikes back for use by other members of their club. {The MTB race
Cont. Page 16
   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20