A journalist fears for his career after not mentioning Annemiek van Vleuten’s Olympic Games crash.
French cycling magazine Chute San Gravite journalist Jean Effraye published his La Course race report, where ORICA-SCOTT's rider Van Vleuten was victorious, and uploaded it before realising his oversight.
We spoke to Effraye just 24 hours after his career-defining blunder:
“I really can’t believe it,” says Effaye, clutching a mug of tea and staring blankly out the window.
“I talked about her as if she was just a cyclist who won a race and not someone who went viral on social media for crashing her bike. It’s such an amateur mistake. All cycling journalists know that the only thing that matters about Annemiek van Vleuten was binning it on television.”
"This could be a career limiting move," Effraye continued. "I just hope my credibility hasn't been too damaged."
Chute San Gravite chief editor Gilles Connard is still reeling from his employee’s mistake:
“I’m incredibly disappointed in Jean. I expect all of my staff to adhere to best industry practice. Annemiek’s Rio crash was the defining moment of her career, and womens’ cycling in general. We’re just giving the people what they want; slow motion replays and screenshots of a woman lying unconscious in a ditch.”
We questioned Connard about whether it was time to move on and stop talking about the crash:
“Look, it’s not for cycling journalists to raise the profile of womens’ cycling by giving it the same quality coverage we give to mens’ racing. I just don’t see the commercial justification for trying harder. Have a look at her Wikipedia page, that’s mostly about her crash too. This is the world we live in.”
We asked Connard and Effaye if they would reference Peter Sagan's Tour of Flanders crash every time he was mentioned and we were asked to leave for "being sexist."
More on this story as it unfolds.