• Italian cyclist Domenico Pozzovivo receives medical assistance after crashing during the third stage of the Giro d'Italia. (ANSA/AP)
Asks Anthony Tan, was there something missing from all the social media vitriol that encircled the Giro organisers 'My bad' moment Monday, when they showed a little too much of Domenico Pozzovivo's race-ending crash?
14 May 2015 - 7:51 AM  UPDATED 14 May 2015 - 1:15 PM

We can all jump on the lambast-the-Giro-organisers-bandwagon and ask the "Is it really necessary?" question as 2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome did...

... Which, judging from the retweets dished out and favourites received - more than 1,500 apiece - no doubt made him hugely popular with cycling fans and cognescenti alike.

Or, we can be a little more pragmatic about it all.

Did the Giro d'Italia organisers cause Domenico Pozzovivo's admittedly gut-wrenching third stage crash on the descent of the Barbagelata last Monday?

No, they did not...

Did they, in any way, contribute to it?

No, they did not...

Did they, by showing graphic images of a bleeding Pozzovivo lying prone on the ground, motionless and seemingly unconscious, make his injuries any worse?

No, they did not...

Have they have affected his ability to recover from such an incident?

No, they have not. In fact, the lightning-fast on-site medical assistance and subsequent helicopter evac to San Martino hospital ensures he will have the best possible recovery.

Could we have seen less of it?

Absolutely, yes, we could...

Then again, in a perverse sort of way, perhaps we needed to see what we did, for all too often, we - myself included - take these athletes' superhuman feats for granted.

"It was a slap-in-the-face reminder that what we see on television or streaming via the Internet is the ultimate reality show."

Every time they pin a number on their back, bodies incased in paper-thin lycra which is all that separates skin from asphalt; every time they throw a leg over their seven-kilo tool of the trade, deftly held together by glued fibres of carbon but sometimes ridden at one hundred kilometres an hour, this is what they do: they risk life and limb so that they or one of their team-mates might stand a chance of crossing a white line before two-hundred others, intent on doing the same thing and risking as much.

Sprinters, more than any in the peloton, are all too aware of it, though understandably prefer not to think about it too much.

Yes, it brought back memories of Wouter Weylandt at the same race four years ago, or Fabio Casartelli's equally dire end at the 1995 Tour de France.

But for me, more than anything, it was a slap-in-the-face reminder that what we see on television or streaming via the Internet is the ultimate reality show, for professional cycling encapsulates the triumph, and occasionally tragedy, of human endeavour.

So, rather than get on the all-too-easy-let's-take-potshots-bandwagon, take stock of what you saw and remind yourself it's real. Remind yourself that while it's beautiful most times, it is often also brutal; sometimes, fatal.

And, while they might not hear you from your loungerooms, don't be afraid to applaud or cheer them for what they do, day in and day out, for it's a minor miracle there aren't more incidents like Pozzovivo's.

Giro d'Italia broadcast details
SBS will broadcast every stage of the Giro d'Italia live. When possible, we will also live stream the race online here at Cycling Central before the television broadcast begins. In addition to morning highlights online, there will be highlights every day at 6pm on SBS 2.