Cancellara Pushes for Extreme Weather Protocol

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RedheadDane said:
I just don't get why rider safety is such a horrible thing. It matters!
Honestly, I don't give much for the "back in the old days they just rode no matter how bad the weather was!" comments.
You mean... back in those 'woooooonderful' old days when riders didn't wear helmets? It took a rider dying for helmets to become mandatory, do we need a rider dying in a snowstorm in order to get an extreme weather protocol?
Cycling is an inherently dangerous sport though. If you make special provisions for snow, then why not for other dangerous conditions. Wet cobbles are dangerous, cycling at 50km/h on the flat elbow to elbow with 200 other riders is dangerous, extreme heat has killed riders before, even pushing your body to extreme levels of endurance carries dangers.

There is a simple solution for riders that don't want to cycle in the snow. They don't have to enter races in the mountains of central Italy in March. If they do enter, they don't have to contest that stage and can go downhill at their own speed.
 
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RedheadDane said:
The line would be between conditions that are dangerous for everyone and conditions that are only dangerous/uncomfortable for some. Which, of course, would mean that the Stelvio stage wouldn't have needed to be neutralised in the first place; it sure wasn't a problem for Quintana and co.
Allow me to use myself as an example: I'd be horrible in heat (don't like it) and high Winds (I'm only 50kg), but "other" - ie actual - riders might be just fine. So... no need for neutralisation.
That makes sense and would be a good way of drawing the line. I guess you would always get the odd rider who is somewhat reckless and would try to attack whatever the conditions, but they could probably be disregarded if the vast majority agree.

Personally, I think adjusting the course works better than neutralisation though. I imagine it's difficult to do at short notice, but deciding to neutralise a descent mid-way through the stage (like some tried to do with Stelvio last year) just makes a joke of the stage if there are breaks already up the road. Much better to just get rid of dangerous descents beforehand, even if it changes the nature of the stage.
 
Adjusting is definitely a great way to go. Like what happened in T-A this year: Conditions are too bad for the (longer) TTT, so we'll just have a (shorter) ITT instead!

Also, as someone pointed out in the beginning of this thread: Extreme Weather Protocol could be something as simple as suspending the timelimit in order to give everyone to time to finish. They'd still get the time-loss but they wouldn't be eliminated, even if they - in extreme cases - took over an hour longer than the winner to finish.
 
I have no problem with an Extreme Weather Protocol. These guys have short careers, they're worth a lot of money and, most importantly, they should not be forced into dangerous situations over and above what they already are on a bike just for our amusement.

It obviously needs to be balanced, you don't cancel a stage like yesterday just because of some snow, but they certainly should have extended the limit to allow the slower guys to get some warmer clothes on and even some different wheels/tyres, the snow was getting heavier and they're going to be out in it longer.

Similarly with heat, they need to be able to neutralise stages like Oman and take into account the likelihood of heat-stroke, equipment failure.
 
Jul 29, 2012
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The stage in T-A didn't risk the rider's their safety though, look at cyclocros in belgium, they can easily ride in those conditions without risking their safety.

Why cant they do it? It was only an uphill finish and only at the last km's there was snow.
 
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Miburo said:
The stage in T-A didn't risk the rider's their safety though, look at cyclocros in belgium, they can easily ride in those conditions without risking their safety.

Why cant they do it? It was only an uphill finish and only at the last km's there was snow.
There are huge differences you are not taking into account. The bikes, the clothing, the length, the altitude, the expectation and preparation and so on. You might as well say downhill riders can cope with road gaps and rock gardens in horrible rain and mud, so road riders should be fine on descents whatever the weather. Guys grinding up that climb at the back of the race will have got cold very quickly and the snow will have got heavier and deeper (none of us know what it was like when the final riders crossed the line). I didn't suggest abandoning the stage, but a sensible protocol that allowed the riders enough time to get warmer, dry clothes on and finish makes perfect sense.
 
Imo Cancellara is right,other sports already implemented rules for extreme conditions,while in cycling sometimes the race organizers just ignore riders safety.I know it's not funny to wait all weak for that great mountain stage just to see it canceled or butchered,but riders safety should come first.They need a set of rules for extreme conditions,adjusting blindly during the stage didn't worked too great last Giro.

Not everybody enjoyed the same conditions in that stage:"One rider told Cyclingnews that the gruppetto containing many of the sprinters and domestiques, which finished more than 20 minutes behind stage winner Nairo Quintana, were forced to ride in the heavy snow for the final six kilometres of the climb. They became cold because they were unable to climb out of the saddle due to their wheel slipping in the snow".
 
The machismo is strong in this thread.
Luckily there are some people that say sensible things.

An extreme weather protocol is needed. Period.
You need to have clear rules to avoid having to constantly make ad-hoc and arbitrary decisions.
 
We need more of this:
"Marco Pinotti (BMC), who finished the stage and Belgian Pieter Serry (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), who collapsed about a half-mile from the finish, were both transported to a hospital with heat-related issues." (ToC 2013)

We deserve it!
Riders just have to suck it up, those ninnies.
 
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Netserk said:
I just hope it will continue to be up to the organizers to decide, though perhaps with a little help from UCI. The riders certainly shouldn't.
I think you're almost completely wrong on that fella, the organisers certainly shouldn't decide (look at Merckx in Oman).

An assessment panel including representatives from the teams, the UCI, the organisers and possibly and external body (no idea who but possibly local officials) should be formed for each race once the rules are in place, but ultimately it should come down to the riders and teams.

I'm fairly sure the teams will self-police it, it'll all blow up very quickly if one or two teams try and force people to quit or continue.
 
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Miburo said:
The stage in T-A didn't risk the rider's their safety though, look at cyclocros in belgium, they can easily ride in those conditions without risking their safety.

Why cant they do it? It was only an uphill finish and only at the last km's there was snow.
Well... they did ride the T-A stage (stage 5)

Netserk said:
I just hope it will continue to be up to the organizers to decide, though perhaps with a little help from UCI. The riders certainly shouldn't.
Funny, I would think the riders, being the ones to actually ride should have a lot to say.
 
Jun 2, 2013
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I agree that there should be an Extreme Weather Protocol, just to clarify the matter. The point is, I'm afraid of what the protocol could consist of.
The likes of Cancellara and Pozzato are not just pushing for the introduction of the Protocol; they also identified the Terminillo stage as an example of a stage that should not be raced.

Like you said, there's no problem with riding in the snow on a climb, nor with temperatures below 3°C, which I believe was the lower limit of the proposed temperature range. I come from Northern Italy, and in the winter, you can see a lot of amateurs training with temperatures around 0°C, even in those days of fog and high humidity where the perceived temperature is even lower than that.

Of course, downhills are a whole different thing, and I'd be in favor of stopping a stage in Terminillo conditions if the climb was followed by a downhill. The problem is that riders seem to be talking about not racing at certain temperatures, regardless of the kind of terrain they have to face.
 
If it always was up to the riders to decide, they still wouldn't wear a helmet nor would anti-doping be anywhere near where it is today. Riders think about themselves. Only few teams last more than 15 years. Many races are over 100 years old and will still be there in 50 years. For them, the future of the sport matters a lot more.
 
Dunno... I don't think riders thinking about themselves really fit with riders not wearing helmets.

Of course it shouldn't only be the riders deciding, but it shouldn't only be the organisers either; they have a strong interest in their race being as exiting as possible.
 
Jun 2, 2013
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Netserk said:
If it always was up to the riders to decide, they still wouldn't wear a helmet nor would anti-doping be anywhere near where it is today. Riders think about themselves. Only few teams last more than 15 years. Many races are over 100 years old and will still be there in 50 years. For them, the future of the sport matters a lot more.
I agree. Like I said, I'm in favor of the protocol just to make things clear and stop discussing the opportunity of cancelling stages every time we hear about possible snow or bad weather in the mountains.

Of course, it should not be up to the riders to exclusively determine the content of the protocol.
 
Re:

Netserk said:
If it always was up to the riders to decide, they still wouldn't wear a helmet nor would anti-doping be anywhere near where it is today. Riders think about themselves. Only few teams last more than 15 years. Many races are over 100 years old and will still be there in 50 years. For them, the future of the sport matters a lot more.
Strawmen. This isn't about something riders fought against or try to avoid, it's about something riders actually want in place.

the whole point is riders think of themselves, so do race organisers. A race organiser will only want a stage to continue and if it is left up to them they'll force the riders to ride on until there is a crash. The riders will have competing views, as seen in Oman, and this will most likely lead to the most sensible decision being taken.
 
It's the organisers that push the limits by organising stages that have a significant probability of being ridden in extreme conditions. Racing in the Californian desert in May? In Oman? Up +1500 m mountains in March? Up +2500 m mountains in May?

With a clear protocol, organisers would perhaps think twice about what to organise where, and be more creative in designing stages rather than knee-jerk decisions like 'the higher the better' kind that a 9-year-old would make.
 
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Jagartrott said:
Racing in the Californian desert in May?
And of course the only time a race in the Californian desert in May got cancelled it was... because of snow! I still find that whole situation kinda amusing: they moved the race from February to May in order to get better weather and... had to cancel a stage due to snow.
 
Re: Re:

Jagartrott said:
Netserk said:
Maybe riders shouldn't partake in races in May that get over 2500m high mountains if they don't want to get over such mountains.
Maybe the construction workers/slaves in Qatar shouldn't go there if they don't want to work in 50°C.
Problem solved!
Poor cyclists who are forced to race in the Giro, otherwise they won't earn enough money to bring food to the table...
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Re: Re:

Jagartrott said:
Netserk said:
Maybe riders shouldn't partake in races in May that get over 2500m high mountains if they don't want to get over such mountains.
Maybe the construction workers/slaves in Qatar shouldn't go there if they don't want to work in 50°C.
Problem solved!
Come on, you can't be serious and compare those poor guys to privileged cyclists.
You could say that there is no need for a race like T-A to have a high mountain finish in March, a classic hilly Tirreno stage is more fun to watch anyway, but everyone knows that climbing with bad weather at high altitude is a thing that can happen in every Giro, they know what there getting themself into.
Cancellara is just a whiner, if a guy like Manuel Belletti that has suffered frostbite durning 2013 Milano - Sanremo and has permanently lost sensitivity in one of his toes would say something like that it would be another story.
 
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Mayomaniac said:
Come on, you can't be serious and compare those poor guys to privileged cyclists.
Yes, I can and it is relevant. Being privileged or not has nothing to do with it, it's about the logic employed.

It shows what happens if you force participants to compete. It creates peer pressure, so that many people who would rather not ride/work, feel forced to do so to stay competitive. Do you think a helper can say to his team: "Sorry, I won't ride the Giro"?

It has been shown over and over again throughout history that you can't leave it to employers/organisers to make the rules. The workers/riders need a voice. Otherwise, the organisers/employers will pit them against each other in a race to the bottom.

In that regard, it matters 0.0 that Cancellara hasn't suffered from frostbite himself if he is speaking for the peloton. With rules that have been OK'd by the riders, you don't even need such spokespersons anymore.
 

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