As Europe’s heat wave melts roads, Tour de France races into an uncertain future
By: Bella Lee
As temperatures have grown more extreme due to climate change, the effects have become more widespread, and this summer’s Tour de France is a good example of this. Intense European summers have made the cycling competition quite dangerous and extreme.
The 2022 Tour de France competition this year ended with the final round in Champs-Elysees, Paris, and as cyclists rode their bicycles towards the finish line on Sunday, the forecast expected the weather to reach 93 degrees Fahrenheit, which was higher than normally expected for Paris.
In fact, many people sprayed water on the roads so that it would slow the “melting”, and many directors of the cycling teams were considering shortening the stage or canceling it.
“It’s already possible to get the stage shortened, or to cancel,” said Samuel Bellenoue, director of performance for French cycling team Cofidis.
Climate protesters were provisionally stopping some rounds on two separate days.
Stephen S. Cheung, a cyclist and professor of kinesiology at Brock University, said, ““One of the appeals of endurance sports is that we mythologize suffering: It’s about pushing the limits of human capabilities. The question we as a society have to ask is: Are we putting athletes into undue harm’s way in the quest for that kind of athletic spectacle? How much is enough?”