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There’s a New Cycling Controversy Involving Pee

There’s a New Cycling Controversy Involving Pee

This article originally appeared on Outside Back when I was a cycling journalist , I was asked a familiar question at dinner parties, on airplanes,…

Tuesday, May 09

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This article originally appeared on Outside

Back when I was a cycling journalist , I was asked a familiar question at dinner parties, on airplanes, or in any other social situations with normies (not hardcore bike racing fans).

Do the the cyclists really stop during the race to pee?

I’d nod yes, anticipating the next inquiry.

But, like, the race is technically still going on, right?

I’d nod again and smile, and then wait for the familiar reactions. How bizarre! How gross! What if the Green Bay Packers dropped trou and pissed on the field during the Super Bowl? I’d nod a final time and then change the subject. How gross indeed.

My brevity was calculated, because the last thing I wanted was to spend the next few hours explaining the nuances of the pro cycling pee stop. During the middle of a race, the athletes will casually pull over to the side of the road and go to the bathroom, and wait for everyone to finish the deed before returning to the action, with nobody zipping ahead to gain an advantage. This activity is governed by little more than the sport’s mysterious collection of unwritten rules of decorum and propriety.Memories of these awkward social encounters popped into my brain this weekend as I read about a brewing controversy at Spain’s weeklong La Vuelta Femenina race involving a pee stop–or, more accurately, a pee non-stop. A Dutch cyclist named Demi Vollering accused her rival Annemiek van Vleuten (also Dutch) of […]

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