The avid fans, injuries and determination of the athletic world

It's that magical time of year. No, not that one. The one with the Tour de France and the sheer determination of the best athletes from around the world. Was it not your first thought?

You may know, I'm an avid cyclist, even a racer at times. Well, not a TdF level racer, but a local, wanna be better racer. It's fun, it's challenging, and I get to ride with and meet a lot of people.

Also going on right now is the CONCACAF Gold Cup that is on the heels of the FIFA Women's World Cup, which was so much fun to watch.

The proximity of these sporting events has enabled me to notice some similarities and differences between the two sports.

The biggest similarity is the dedication of the spectators to their sport. Fútbol (soccer to those of us in the USA) and cycling fans come dressed in team and national garb, have specific chants that don't need translating and always take things religiously during the game. Afterwards, all are friends again.

The biggest difference I've found revolves around getting hurt. Cycling has crashes. Fútbol has flops. How the participants react from contact is vastly different. Perhaps it's time for picture proof.

Yes, this player got up and was fine. Continued to play. Actually, there wasn't even contact. There are even sites dedicated to highlighting "soccer flops." They're hilarious.

This is Tony Martin crossing the finish line in stage 6 of the Tour de France after a sprint wreck. Why is he holding his arm like that? It's because he has a compound fracture in his collarbone. That means the broken bone is sticking out of the skin.

This is Fabian Cancellara finishing the race riding the final 40 miles with two broken vertebrae from "The Crash" in stage 3.

Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching (and formerly playing) soccer/fútbol. In fact, I watch it more than professional American football, basketball and baseball. And do feel like noting that the women do far less flopping.

Pedal Harder.

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