Blood sport

A black and gold jersey spattered in blood is nothing new in sport. In Boston, that’s called hockey.

How long before that’s called cycling?

Spectators of the world’s greatest bike races are seeing more and more high-definition trauma, the spindly kings of the road frequently seen painfully pedaling along with Oakleys askew, yellow jersey in tatters as if they tried to elbow a hungry black bear for a choice dumpster. It’s a long way from a NASCAR track’s crash-lust, but this year’s European stage races showed a new, bloodier side of the sport.

Tragedy is unfortunately nothing new in cycling, particularly in the Tour de France, but it is supposed to be a rarity.