Monday, 20 April 2009

Theo Bos in his (translated by me) words

At the final stage of the Tour of Turkey on Sunday, there was a horrible crash in the final kilometre. Theo Bos of Rabobank and Daryl Impey of Barloworld went down into the barriers, and from the initial video it seemed that Bos had completely thrown Impey down! It was too unbelievable for words. Watch for yourself:

Seeing as Impey is South African and therefore blogs in English whereas Bos is Dutch and even the Rabo team doesn't have an English site (and judging from the way that the English and American press and forums immediately called for Bos to be banned, suggesting that what happened was purposeful and malicious), I decided to do my best to translate Bos' explanation. The original Dutch is here.

The usual caveats apply: the following is written in my words, Dutch is my second language so the translation is not going to be perfect, and any Dutch speakers who catch mistakes in context, please let me know!

The reaction to the crash in the Tour of Turkey speaks for itself. On Youtube it looks like the crash was caused intentionally. Even Lance Armstrong said that I deserve a long suspension for it. A response that I completely understand if you look at the video and the comments about it.

Of course I myself have been following the video and discussion rather painfully. From above it's difficult to tell but it seems like I'm pulling him off his bike. In reality, I'm completely trapped and I'm being pushed into the barriers on the left, and reflexively trying to keep him away from me as a last ditch effort. At that moment the only right option to prevent a crash. With my front wheel, I believe I hit the foot of one of the barriers and then together with Impey went sprawling.

Everybody who knows me well knows that I would never purposely take risks to cause a crash in such a way. Why would have I taken myself down. I've been sprinting for years at a high level on the track. The keirin is well known for its push and shove antics, and risk-taking. But know this: I'm not known in the cycling world as someone who takes extreme risks. In Japan it's even my nickname. It's not in my character. It's making me sick to hear of it.

When I switched from the track to the road, I deliberately chose Rabobank's continental team. This was so I could learn the sport in a sheltered environment. I wasn't expecting to be known in the sport for this incident. As a matter of course, I've given my side of the story to Barloworld. I want to make it right with Impey and I've said to the team that I would like to have a conversation with him and tell him my side of it. I've got no reason to hide from him, though I do understand that he's quite angry.

I feel really badly to have made the news in this manner. As a sportsman, I want it to be known that I'm quite beside myself over this. I'm bothered by it. I hope there are more videos out there. Maybe if they're shown next to each other and frame by frame analysed. I've done all I can to prove that there was nothing I could do. What happened was not on purpose. Not even in the heat of the moment. I would like everyone to understand that this is not how I win my sprints. I love this sport. Sport is on the cutting edge. In all respects, fair play is a part of it. Anything less than that is not worth it to me.



Ade Merckx said...

Thanks for the translation. I wanna believe him

Yokota Fritz said...

Thanks for providing that translation.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. I however don't believe him and hope he never rides again regardless of his great history with cycling. I wish him no harm but he showed that he's not capable of riding in the pro peleton.

Andrew Parry

Anonymous said...

Impey said that Bos made ZERO effort to talk to him when they were in the ambulance together. That coupled with the fact that Bos was relatively uninjured and Impey lost two teeth and has to have his face reconstructed says that Bos is a pathological liar who is just a spoiled egomaniac that cannot handle that he is not able to win as easily on the road has he was when he won World Championships on the track. He said slingshots are common in track and so is crashing at high speed. I believe he did this on purpose because he dug his shoulder into Impey and landed on him. Also he said he hit a foot on a barrier but that would have caused him to crash first which of course did not happen.

maryka said...

For the record, I'm not defending the guy, I'm only translating his version of the story as when it hit the news, it was only in Dutch and the Google translate software did a very poor job of putting it into readable English.

I agree that Bos is blame for the crash, and it's extremely unfortunate that Impey suffered such injuries. But I'll leave you, dbacks2007, clearly the professional psychologist that you are, to throw around words like "pathological liar" and "spoiled egomaniac", and I'll happily stay out of the discussion of the guy's personal character.

An interesting take on the situation, including the horrible state of the barriers (nowhere near straight) and the issue of where was the Barloworld team protecting and leading out their yellow jersey is here,

Anonymous said...

thanks for the translation. I understand that he feels sorry, but the fact is he was irresponsible and made a massive error, he could have killed him. surely he should pay for his mistakes..

Anonymous said...

Its is very clear that he pulled him. There are plenty of videos that shows him nearly ripping Daryl~s shirt off.

Sad.... and this POS should be banned.

Biljart said...

That's crazy. I see no indication that Bos touched the barrier first.

In the first seconds Impey is peeking on R) of guy in red who is in front of hi, then when they come into the pic again Impey us already leaning well into the other side of the guy in red. Impey was certainly moving L) for a quick moment OUT OF CAMERA.

Sad any way. Possibly criminal too.