Originally Posted by West Coast Ace
Back to Cycling. When I heard years ago that a) it's really a team event - the top guy on each team is helped by his teammates; b) they would slow down/stop when one of the top guys got a flat so he could get back in the race, I didn't take it seriously as a real sport. Sure, I'm impressed someone can cover that much distance on a bike - but as far as competition, it's a joke. Then throw in the rampant drug use and I have no interest to follow it.
The above is odd. There are hundreds of team sports out there, where people compete as a team. In many of them, one or two players are elevated massively above the team. In cycling, both the individual and the team are competing for the win.
As for b - it's sportsmanship. Pure and simple sportsmanship. It's like playing tennis, and allowing your opponent to have an injury time-out to have their ankle taped. It's a recognition that they are competing as athletes, and that the bike is just a piece of equipment.
It's akin to saying 'no, that is your point, your shot was in". It's akin to saying 'my opponent is 10 mins late due to unforseen circumstances, but i'll not take a default as I'm here to compete on equal terms".