Pro cycling road races can do a lot for towns that fall along their routes. For instance, in 2014, when the Tour de France departed from Yorkshire, England, it generated revenues totaling nearly $220 million, according to Sky Sports. But on Friday, when the Tour of California spun through Big Bear Lake, about two hours east of Los Angeles, it appears the only thing the town got was a big pile of … well, let’s just roll the tape.
“Caught the [Swiss team] Katusha-Alpecin … dumping raw sewage from their RV on the side of highway 330,” the YouTube account of Ryan Patrick Early captioned the video, which appears to show two men outside an RV spraying liquid on the ground.
Early noted the highway where the men allegedly emptied their team’s septic tank runs adjacent to “running springs,” and that they tried to hide their misdeed by spraying it with water.
“Way to ruin the environment,” a voice can be heard telling the men in the video. “This is what we get when you guys come to Big Bear for the race. … Team 154 dumping their septic tank — I’ve informed the CHP [California Highway Patrol].”
Early did not immediately return The Post’s request to comment further about what he saw.
According to CyclingNews.com, CHP arrived on the scene and used hazmat equipment to clean up the site. Meanwhile, the two people who dumped the waste were reprimanded by Tour of California organizers, who suspended the men and sent them home.
Michael Roth, a spokesman for the race that’s slated to end Sunday, reportedly told the Cycling News the Tour of California has “a zero-tolerance policy for desecrating areas along the route.” Roth also said tour officials would be contacting UCI, world cycling’s governing body, to inquire about further sanctions for the team.
It’s likely Katusha-Alpecin, which has not publicly commented on the incident, could face a fine. UCI sets standards for cyclists, team staff, as well as race organizers, who must uphold certain environmental requirements.
“The inappropriate management of harmful environmental effects relating to the organization of a cycling event may not only severely damage the reputation of the event itself but can also be detrimental to the sport of cycling in general,” UCI states in its tour organizer’s guide. The guide doesn’t mention dealing with team RV’s septic tanks, but notes all participants should do as much as they can to reduce litter and other environmental damage.