Romain Bardet has always been a hero of mine.
Mainly for his incredible attacking on the uphill’s and fearless descending coming back down.
See that footage from the Dauphine off the Mont de Chat for the best example of that.
Yesterday though, that deep affection for this rider moved on a step.
After his overall win in the Tour of the Alps last week, he would have been in the group of 5 star favourites for Liege-Bastogne-Liege yesterday.
But he made a decision on the road that affected his changes of winning the race but elevated him as a human.
We could talk for hours about the causes of the crash that took down so many riders but there is a positive news story among the cracking of bones and bumps and bruises.
As World Champion Julian Alaphillippe lay stricken on the forest floor after a high speed crash, Bardet chose to stay with him and seek medical help rather than ride on and try and regain the peloton.
What a gesture.
There was genuine concern for a rider who isn’t a team mate and only shares a nationality with him.
I think that somewhere in Bardet’s brain was the feelings from his Tour de France crash that gave his a fracture in his skull and concussion and a feeling that he might have recognised in Alaphillippe an urgent need for care.
If there is any chance that the Velo D’or award this season can be given to someone other than Tadej Pogacar, how about Bardet for this gesture?
It’s well merited.