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Oh: Entire Women's Pro Cycling Race Halted Because Of 'Very Slow' Men

Well this sucks.

From CNN:

A breakaway female cyclist was forced to stop during a prestigious race in Belgium after she started to catch up with the men’s competition, which had started 10 minutes earlier.

Swiss cyclist Nicole Hanselmann described it as an “awkward moment” when she was held up in Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race after she broke away from the women’s pack and caught up with the men’s support vehicles.

She had developed a two-minute lead 30 kilometers (18 miles) into the 120-kilometer (75-mile) race when officials asked the 27-year old former Switzerland road champion — and the women’s race — to stop at a level crossing until the gap with the men’s race was restored.

The racing event’s official Twitter account reported the “neutralization of our women race at railroad crossing in Sint-Denijs-Boekel… due to a very slow mens race.”

Men started the race a full ten minutes before the women’s division, and she caught up to the slower dudes anyway after pushing ahead in 1st place for almost 22 miles.

I looked up the average speed for male cyclists in a race (let’s say it’s about 25 mph for stragglers in back), and according to my shoddy math she had closed a 4.2 mile gap.

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So why the hell is she the one who had to stop then? Along with every woman behind her?

She’s two whole minutes ahead of all her competitors with about a quarter of the race completed, and then she has to come to a complete halt?! And who knows how long it took for the race organizers to stop all the women approaching behind her. Booo. BOOOOOO. Tell those men to pull over.

To have that momentum taken away from you isn’t just physical, I imagine it has to be pretty mental as well.

“Hey, after you put forth the explosive effort to get that big-ass lead, we’re just gonna stop you cold while some of the men continue to go slow, & then make you start back up again from 0mph once they’ve got far enough ahead. Sorrey.”

After looking around I’m not sure how long they were stopped for, but I imagine even a few minutes would be crappy on your warmed-up muscles.

Hanselmann lost the big lead & the former Switzerland road champion wound up finishing in 74th place.

She told Cycling News that “it was a bit sad for me because I was in a good mood, and when the bunch sees you stopping they just get a new motivation to catch you.”

Having only a 10 minute gap at such a big race is also weird. What if there’s crashes ahead or one of the men’s support vehicle craps out? What if a bunch of cows run out onto the road ahead of the guys & jams them all up? I’m uncultured and this is Belgium we’re talking about here. I’m picturing 20 of those fuzzy Scottish-style cows for every acre, & also thick, syrupy waffles just rolling around all haywire-like, spraying strawberries & whipped cream into spokes. Did no one plan for this??

It seems like overall, the main thing they didn’t plan for was women being really fucking good at cycling.

For shaaaaaame.

In the end, she was all class. You’ll get ‘em next time, Hanselmann.