The dictionary definition of Profiling:
The act or process of extrapolating information about a person based on known traits or tendencies. The act of suspecting or targeting a person on the basis of observed characteristics or behavior.
There is a word there that I had to look up in the thesaurus: Extrapolating. It means, inferring, generalizing, deducing, and to draw conclusions, which pretty much sums up the whole crux of profiling.
Chris Froome was favorite going into the Tour de France, the press and the rest of the media all agreed he was the man to beat. So what happens when he lives up to everyone’s expectations? These same journalists are now questioning his performance, and it is not just journalists, but every amateur armchair analyst in the world.
He blew everyone away last Sunday on Mont Monteux, but barely had time to get from the finishing line, change his shirt, and get to the podium, before Twitter and all the Internet chat rooms were ablaze with cries of “Doper.” I heard that one site crashed within minutes of the stage finish, they had so many people online.
This is profiling, pure and simple. Like saying, “Here is a black man, he might be a criminal.” Or, “Here is someone who looks like an Arab, he might be a terrorist.” People are saying, “Here is a professional cyclist, and he is going faster than everyone else, he might be on dope.”
I can understand being skeptical after all that has happened in the sport of pro cycling, but if a person is so skeptical that he goes on line to question a rider’s performance, just because he blew away the completion. Why is that person even watching the Tour de France? If one doesn’t believe what they are seeing, they might as well watch Professional Wrestling.
Chris Froome did not suddenly appear out of nowhere. He has been on form all season, which is why he earned the title of “Favorite” going into the Tour. He won the Tour of Oman, was second to Vincenzo Nibali in the Tirreno – Adriatico. He won the Criterium International, the Tour de Romandie, and the Criterium du Douphine, all multiple stage races. I suspect many of the armchair experts never followed those races, but have just come on board for the TDF. And I’ll bet most have never raced a bike, or have a clue what it takes.
Throughout history there have been cyclists who have stood head and shoulders above the rest. Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx. Why do some soccer teams, and football and baseball teams do better than others? It is the organization, the managers, and the coaches. Who gets fired when things go bad? Team Sky have the money and they can buy the best athletes, managers, and coaches, simple as that.
Team Sky have gone out of their way to be transparent in their organization, they fired a bunch of people who were suspect of previous dealings with dope. I believe pro cycling has an opportunity to get itself really clean like never before.
I am now reading that the Professional Cyclists Association (CPA) is telling the media to leave Chris Froome alone. So his fellow riders in the Tour de France are satisfied he is not doping. That is good enough for me, I can enjoy the rest of the Tour.
With everyone across the board saying they are clean, it would take one hell of a conspiracy if everyone was still doping as before. Anyone who has worked in an office knows that all people do is talk about stuff they were supposed to keep secret. If a team were doping, a mechanic or laundry boy somewhere would be sure to spill the beans to the press.