Cancellara Pushes for Extreme Weather Protocol

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Echoes said:
The issue here is not about the weather but about why on earth RCS would put a high mountain stage in Tirreno while it's supposed to be a mere prep race/springboard for Tirreno Adriatico.
Tirreno a springboard for... Tirreno...?

Anyway, I think I see what you mean; why even plan a high mountain stage in a race held during a time of the year when there's a great risk/chance (depending on how you look at it) for there to be snow? I'm not talking situations like in T-A Sunday, but more snow, worse weather. It's not like high mountains automatically create a great race; in fact the riders are perfectly able to on their own - without being told to by organisers - neutralise a race and go slow.
 
Something from the UCI (Press Release):
UCI Statement on Extreme Weather Conditions – protocol in sight
22 March 2015

Representatives from the UCI – notably commissaires –, riders (CPA), teams (AIGCP) and organisers (AIOCC) have agreed, on the occasion of a meeting in Milan, Italy, on Friday March 20, the need for an action plan in the event of extreme weather conditions in professional races.

The group considers the safety and the health of riders as an absolute priority.

The members will convene again in the coming weeks to establish a baseline for the weather criteria (rain, snow, wind, temperature, humidity and visibility) that can be used to determine if a modification is required in the running of a race.

An initial working agreement is expected for the start of the Giro d’Italia, on May 9.

http://intranet.uci.ch/pressreleases/uci-statement-extreme-weather-conditions-protocol-sight/
 
RedheadDane said:
Anyway, I think I see what you mean; why even plan a high mountain stage in a race held during a time of the year when there's a great risk/chance (depending on how you look at it) for there to be snow?
Honest question now.
If it's that clear to a bunch of forum posters that such a route could lead to risky conditions, why are the riders always complaining after such risky conditions occur and not when the route is unveiled*?


* I don't know if any rider officially commented on the route when it was unveiled months ago.
 
RHD, should of course have read "springboard for Milan-Sanremo", lol. I agree with you, though.

Echoes said:
However I'm still wondering why all these classic racers - Van Avermaet, Vanmarcke, Cancellara - still favour Tirreno over Paris-Nice which is increasingly becoming the better prep of the two. I can't really understand that. RCS wants to make Tirreno a baby Giro. Quite the opposite to 10 years ago. It makes no sense at all. Of course, I bet many CN posters love it but not me obviously.
This was an anticipation to Safebet's post. Obviously, they shouldn't complain, they should race the rival race.

Since the Primavera winner comes from Paris-Nice, third time in 5 editions, I guess my remark verifies. ;)
 
SafeBet said:
RedheadDane said:
Anyway, I think I see what you mean; why even plan a high mountain stage in a race held during a time of the year when there's a great risk/chance (depending on how you look at it) for there to be snow?
Honest question now.
If it's that clear to a bunch of forum posters that such a route could lead to risky conditions, why are the riders always complaining after such risky conditions occur and not when the route is unveiled*?


* I don't know if any rider officially commented on the route when it was unveiled months ago.
Because it's not a 100% given that there'll be risky conditions.
As a rider you'd probably be more unpopular among the fans if you, as soon as a route was unveiled, went out and started complaining that a finish on a high mountain couldn't be safe because of (risks for) bad weather, somehow managed to get the organisers to scrap said finish, and then when the day came when it should have been ridden; it was all beautifully and sunshiney. Even if you didn't manage to get the organisers to change the route - which is probably more likely - you'd still look a bit like an idiot.


Echoes said:
RHD, should of course have read "springboard for Milan-Sanremo", lol. I agree with you, though.
Actually thought you meant "Springboard for the Giro." Though I suppose that would make it a very long springboard. :p
 
RedheadDane said:
Because it's not a 100% given that there'll be risky conditions.
As a rider you'd probably be more unpopular among the fans if you, as soon as a route was unveiled, went out and started complaining that a finish on a high mountain couldn't be safe because of (risks for) bad weather, somehow managed to get the organisers to scrap said finish, and then when the day came when it should have been ridden; it was all beautifully and sunshiney. Even if you didn't manage to get the organisers to change the route - which is probably more likely - you'd still look a bit like an idiot.
Fair point.
How about the CPA then? Why don't they just sit down with race organisers expressing their point of view on routes instead of whining when it snows or there's a sandstorm.
It all looks so amateurish compared to other pro sports.
 
The CPA?
Anyway, I think this (talk about an EWP) is exactly that; riders - and other relevant people - sitting down and expressing povs on routes and find a way to
1: create routes that are both exiting and safe
2: know what to do if weather results in a route that would 99.9% of the time be safe, is suddenly... not so safe.
 
The situation during GW made me wonder if it at least during some situations would be a solution to bring the cars up between the wind and the riders. Of course it would require some rather specific conditions:
1: Cross-winds, probably preferably directly from the side.
2: Wide enough roads for the cars to fit in. Otherwise the riders would just be in danger of being hit by cars, instead of the wind.
Not only that but everybody involved with the "car shield" would have to know exactly what to do, and it should be clear that, no, you're not allowed to "accidentally" open the shield so the wind blows on of your team's rivals off the road. Though I don't think that would happen.

This recent situation with GW being ridden (and if I understand correctly sorta halfway neutralised at one point, until the riders decided to race anyway) despite somewhat crazy conditions - with only 39 riders finishing. But DDP having a section of the first stage officially neutralised (seem like it was just the neutralised section at the beginning getting a bit longer) despite the conditions probably being less severe today than they were Sunday kinda shows the difference between a one-day classic and a stage-race:
In a Classic it's fine to only have 39 finishers, first stage of a stage-race? Not so much...
 
I don't get the point. Why in hell neutralize that race? It's not like they descended Kemmelberg on cobbles with ice on them. It was unpleasant weather and with the wrong wheels potential dangerous in a large bunch, but after a lot quit it wasn't especially dangerous anymore. It's not like it was a stage in a GT where some who weren't suited for it still had to endure it. If he didn't like it, he could've quitted sooner.
 
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Jagartrott said:
What is Eisel moaning about?
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/eisel-calls-for-rider-unity-in-cases-of-extreme-weather

I call racing in 40-45°C dangerous - AND it doesn't create an exciting race. GW, it was at the edge but in the end, only 2 riders were seriously hurt (with at least one of them choosing the wrong wheels). More riders were hurt when Eisel's teammate swung off the lead at Algarve without looking back.
Totally agree. In boiling weather where you can see them covered in salt/sweat they all carry on as if its normal when surely it is much more dangerous than in the cold!?

This neutralization rubbish is just pathetic. As mentioned if you cant hack the weather then pull out. Admittedly the wind in GW was bad but surely no self respecting rider would want the race to end just because they dont want to carry on.. Sadly this 'elf and saftey/holier than thou' attitude is evermore apparent in all sports now.

I really hope P-R is absolutely pissing it down so the same moaners wont have a hope of winning.
 
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thiscocks said:
Totally agree. In boiling weather where you can see them covered in salt/sweat they all carry on as if its normal when surely it is much more dangerous than in the cold!?
Exactly. When it's too hot there's not much you can do and you're opening yourself up to heat stroke and dehydration, whereas cold weather is merely uncomfortable - your body is generating plenty of heat if you're cycling and you can always put more clothes on to keep it in.

I don't get what the fuss was about GW - I'm not trying to pretend I'm some kind of hard man but I've commuted in windier/wetter conditions than that lots of times in Ireland out of necessity because I don't have a car and the local public transport is hopeless. I did a spin on Saturday that needed quite a bit of the sideways lean into the wind seen at GW and hands on the brakes at all times in case of gusts - this is basic technique for cycling in spring/autumn in northwest Europe, not an excuse to call off a race.
 
Part of the Epicness of cycling has been due to the environment like the Windy Gent Wevelgem stage or 1988 Giro for eg. In epic environments there is no question of who has the power or power/weight but who can survive, who can suffer the most, who can cope with the conditions the best. The uncertainty is part of what makes cycling exciting to watch.
Recent developments that happened in 2017 is the shortening of a couple of stages in Australia due to extreme heat and the almost shortening of the stage 3 of the Dubai tour due to a sandstorm. It rather points to a disturbing trend. Anytime the going gets harder, the riders may go slow or get the length reduced or get the stage cancelled. Even when there is a collective representation by the riders, the terms are dictated by the richer, more famous riders over the others as they are simply afraid to risk. Quitting the race or going slow or racing should be an individual choice but not a collective decision. Cipo quit the TDF in the mountains. A contrasting eg. is the 2017 Cyclocross WC which was held in Bieles with ice/mud on the course.
One of the thing is the reduction of the time. In india for eg the T20 format(3 hrs) of cricket is yielding great revenues vs the traditional Test cricket (8 hrs over 5 days). In cycling watching 200 kms for the stage to conclude in a sprint of 200 m is a waste of time and extremely uninteresting. Shortening a stage to 50-100 kms reduces expenses as well but improving the difficulty of the stage is important. Adding elements of cyclocross can spice up the cycling stage for eg in ITT. Revenue generation from spectators is non existent in road cycling and if tapped can solve a lot of problems associated with funding of the teams.
 
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IndianCyclist said:
Recent developments that happened in 2017 is the shortening of a couple of stages in Australia due to extreme heat and the almost shortening of the stage 3 of the Dubai tour due to a sandstorm. It rather points to a disturbing trend. Anytime the going gets harder, the riders may go slow or get the length reduced or get the stage cancelled.
As I said upthread two years ago I think extreme heat is in a totally different category as it can easily kill people. There's no comparison to the old days because in the old days there were no top level races in places like the Arabian Desert or Australia or the Mojave Desert.
 
I'm just gonna make the crazy assumption that for the vast majority of the time, the people actually in the location of a race are probably better at making a decision than I am.
Take today's case; I can't sit at home in Denmark and judge whether or not it's safe to ride in Dubai.
 
This is going to keep happening year after year, last season the problem was extreme heat. These places are not made for cycling, but as long as the money-obsessed freaks get their share everything is fine. Screw the spectacle, if the weather is on the extreme side, they can just cancel the race - perfect means for them to never feel guilty. Got to love the improvisation and slyness.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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RedheadDane said:
I'm just gonna make the crazy assumption that for the vast majority of the time, the people actually in the location of a race are probably better at making a decision than I am.
Take today's case; I can't sit at home in Denmark and judge whether or not it's safe to ride in Dubai.
I don't really understand this line of reasoning. Observing the weather and making a decision about whether to race in that weather aren't the same thing. Not being in Dubai means we can't check the observations about the weather ourselves, but people don't criticize the observations about the weather, they question the judgement about the risk involved in racing in that weather; those are two separate things.
 
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Maaaaaaaarten said:
RedheadDane said:
I'm just gonna make the crazy assumption that for the vast majority of the time, the people actually in the location of a race are probably better at making a decision than I am.
Take today's case; I can't sit at home in Denmark and judge whether or not it's safe to ride in Dubai.
I don't really understand this line of reasoning. Observing the weather and making a decision about whether to race in that weather aren't the same thing. Not being in Dubai means we can't check the observations about the weather ourselves, but people don't criticize the observations about the weather, they question the judgement about the risk involved in racing in that weather; those are two separate things.
Have you raced in the Rub' Al Khali in a sandstorm?
 
Oct 23, 2011
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King Boonen said:
Have you raced in the Rub' Al Khali in a sandstorm?
No, so in this particular case it might make sense, but I've read the same line of reasoning with RedheaDane more often and in a more general sense. As for sand storms and extreme heat specifically, I'll acknowledge I don't have a clue how it is to race in those conditions.

For the record, I'm not saying the race in Dubai should or should not have been cancelled, I'm just saying that it is possible to make sensible judgement and have legitimate criticism about the cancellation of a race; not being in the race location doesn't impede that.
 
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Maaaaaaaarten said:
King Boonen said:
Have you raced in the Rub' Al Khali in a sandstorm?
No, so in this particular case it might make sense, but I've read the same line of reasoning with RedheaDane more often and in a more general sense. As for sand storms and extreme heat specifically, I'll acknowledge I don't have a clue how it is to race in those conditions.

For the record, I'm not saying the race in Dubai should or should not have been cancelled, I'm just saying that it is possible to make sensible judgement and have legitimate criticism about the cancellation of a race; not being in the race location doesn't impede that.
The problem is that knowing the weather is very different to knowing the racing conditions. Surface, exposure, speeds, route etc. are much, much harder to account for. You also need to take into account the mix of riders present, the fact that cycling is one of those unique sports where big races for some are training rides for others and there are too many factors for us to really give a proper interpretation of a situation. I'm perfectly comfortable riding in 65kph winds, gusting up to 90+kph while it's raining extremely heavily on pot-holed roads because it's what I do throughout winter. That's obviously extreme but there will be guys in the peloton who maybe got sent as a training block who really aren't prepared for the conditions. You then end up with a situation where other peoples seasons and careers can be ruined through no fault of their own. Cycling is inherently risky, riders know that fans and organisers will be displeased with stage cancellations so I doubt they will push for it lightly. Taking all that into account I'm always willing to accept the riders decision as much more valid than ours.

Not saying we shouldn't discuss it, it's interesting. But I don't think any of us can really offer any insight compared to the pros.
 
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King Boonen said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
King Boonen said:
Have you raced in the Rub' Al Khali in a sandstorm?
No, so in this particular case it might make sense, but I've read the same line of reasoning with RedheaDane more often and in a more general sense. As for sand storms and extreme heat specifically, I'll acknowledge I don't have a clue how it is to race in those conditions.

For the record, I'm not saying the race in Dubai should or should not have been cancelled, I'm just saying that it is possible to make sensible judgement and have legitimate criticism about the cancellation of a race; not being in the race location doesn't impede that.
The problem is that knowing the weather is very different to knowing the racing conditions. Surface, exposure, speeds, route etc. are much, much harder to account for. You also need to take into account the mix of riders present, the fact that cycling is one of those unique sports where big races for some are training rides for others and there are too many factors for us to really give a proper interpretation of a situation. I'm perfectly comfortable riding in 65kph winds, gusting up to 90+kph while it's raining extremely heavily on pot-holed roads because it's what I do throughout winter. That's obviously extreme but there will be guys in the peloton who maybe got sent as a training block who really aren't prepared for the conditions. You then end up with a situation where other peoples seasons and careers can be ruined through no fault of their own. Cycling is inherently risky, riders know that fans and organisers will be displeased with stage cancellations so I doubt they will push for it lightly. Taking all that into account I'm always willing to accept the riders decision as much more valid than ours.

Not saying we shouldn't discuss it, it's interesting. But I don't think any of us can really offer any insight compared to the pros.
Exactly. You need to be there, and make observations, before you can't really pass judgement about the risk. Just saying "Well, I've ridding in conditions like that, so it's safe." isn't gonna cut it. I've ridden in snow, but the thing is; I'm just a cyclist. Just a regular, ordinary woman riding my bike to get around. If I fall and break my leg from riding in bad weather, well... bad luck! Sure, I'd probably have to be off work for some time, but depending on what kind of work I end up getting, I could probably get back to work while still on crutches. I won't need to get through major rehabilitation, and it won't potentially affect the rest of my "career". Most importantly, it will have been my own fault, since I was a stupid git to try and ride in bad conditions. If a rider - otoh - crashes and breaks his legs because he - and everyone else - was forced to ride in tricky conditions, well... he could risk his career for no fault of his own.
(I obviously haven't tried riding in a sandstorm, we're kinda short on those around here.)
At the same time, if everyone agrees that it is indeed possible to ride in somewhat tricky conditions, then I'll trust that that's the right decision, and enjoy the racing.
 

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