This is an e mail that was in the
circulation mill after PBP 2003. I received it in February 2004.
It concerns the dispute over the time penalties handed out to
the "Gang of Six" - the first six finishers at PBP
So far I was an
interested lurker on ultracycling. Some of you are friends,
some know me, others maybe heard of me. But you are all interested
a bike, and a lot of you did PBP or want to do it in the future.
I just received
the official results of PBP 2003. Maybe you got them too,
maybe you receive them in a short time. And I think this is the
finally react publicly.
Because I don't
know if you heard about the fuss that is going on
(especially in France, both in magazines and on websites), but
here is the
story. I'll try to keep it as short as possible (quite difficult
lot of things happened).
We were six to
finish together after 42h40 on Wednesday afternoon. Needless
to say we were all very happy. And guys from the organisation
all around to be on the pictures that were taken and to be in
front of the
camera of the French television.
How big was our
surprise on Friday evening that the organisation honored the
oldest, the youngest, ... and the first women and the first tandem,
word about the first men. After the ceremony we were told we
had to wait
till the official result appeared in January, because there would
investigation about our performance.
we all received a letter in which was announced that we all
(the 14 leaders during the second night) would receive a 2 hour
because we were lightened by a car (by cars?) between Loudéac
and after Tinténiac. We got time till the end of September
to answer. We all
have sent a letter by registered post in which we stated that
at no point in
the ride we were followed by cars that lightened us.
Of course the
organisation never replied to us and they never confirmed the
penalty. So finally, one of us contacted them by phone, and the
confirmed. So we all have resent a letter by registered post
in which we
asked a couple of questions, like:
* who saw the mentioned cars?
* where were the mentioned cars seen?
* what was the licence plate of the car(s) and since all following
a number given by the organisation, it should be easy to find
participant had EVENTUALLY committed an error?
* why is a group of 14 riders punished for an EVENTUALLY wrong
doing of one
* why didn't the organisation followed his own rules? In article
state that a penalty would be given on the spot, the latest at
control stop. Why didn't they stop us there and didn't they mentioned
After a while
we received a letter, but no answers to the questions. But
suddenly they started to talk about article 17, "...les
s'imposeraient dans les cas non prévus au présent
règlement..." (things not
foreseen in the rules), but what the hell is not foreseen in
because article 15 is all about penalties. And of course they
PBP is not a race.
We've sent an
official complaint to the FFCT, the French Federation of
cyclotourist, under which direction the ACP acts. Begin January
received a letter from their president in answer to our letter
4th. He stated that he supports the penalty, and in my case he
mediate because I am not a member of the FFCT. In other cases
he couldn't do
anything either because PBP is a brevet and not a race. Why we
penalty in a brevet isn't clear, of course there are no answers
questions, and why they honored the first women and the first
something that is not a race is still not clear. Neither the
a general classification and so on is explained.
the first week of January, the BBR/FBC (the Belgian
Federation of Cyclotourist) has sent an official complaint to
the ACP (and a
copy to the FFCT). In their letter they ask the same question
as we did (and
that are listed above). To my knowledge, they have received no
The complete disrespect
with which we are treated by the organisation is
proven again by the fact that none of us has received an invitation
annual meeting January 24th. Normally they always honor the first
woman, ... and so on. But of course not this year.
Since the meeting
is open to everybody, 5 of the 6 of us where there. The
meeting started at 2PM. And when they announced the end (nearly
6 PM), a
friend stood up and asked if it was possible to give more information
the first guys. Meanwhile we walked up to the stage. And then
crazy. Lamouller, president of the FFCT, took the mike from Théobald,
president of the ACP and said no questions could be asked. They
mike, we spoke to the public and handed them a letter (with about
remarks and questions as mentioned above), Lamouller jumped back
stage, was handed over the hidden mike and shouted that he would
that we were disqualified.
This week I received
the official results by post. Unlike the other years
the results are by country and in alphabetic order, and no word
first man, woman,... I've heard that normally they have pages
Only if you read
the editorial of Theobald, you can read that the first guys
are liars, cheaters and villains.
In the same envelop as the results was included my official road
book. To my
surprise, frustration and anger it was falsified. Indeed, on
the last page
they included the text: "2 hours penalty because lightened
by a car at
night" with an unreadable signature.
In the end, I
don't care if they consider PBP as a race or not (but then
again, till this edition the first were always honored, they
spoke about a
record and even now they honored the first woman, first tandem
on Aug 22).
What I don't accept at all is a 2 hour penalty while I followed
rules all the way long (meanwhile they change their rules as
they like, and
6 months after date there is still no proof given that one rider
in the lead
group during the 2nd night committed an error). I won't be considered
cheater, and that is what they do.
Marc Leuckx, Belgium