Crashes, what can be done?

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I think a lot of the crashes are like Mcnulty's or touch of wheels. Riders looking behind to see where their teammates are and losing tracking of what's on the front and sides. I doubt much could be done to prevent these type of crashes as this is clearly rider issue. The 2nd crash in stage 1 caused by rider touching wheels was just as bad as the first one but the spectator one is preventable and receives the max attention. Yet the max number of crashes is due to riders doing stuff as in this tdf. You can put the max effort in preventing spectator related crashes but it is not going to reduce crashes significantly. Data on crashes would be helpful to analyse the cause and potential solutions(UCI's job).
I'd agree but then at today's flattish Stage 6 the road went from 5-lane freeway width to a single cow path with ditches on the side. No one died but that sort of transition with 180+ riders is asking for carnage. On the other hand, same stage; one rider crashed himself twice in 10km. He still finished but that was all creatively solo crashishness.

Finally and while the pace was flying there was the choice the Alpecin douchemeister made when running out of road as it narrowed: head-butt the rider next to him in the arm so they both crashed. I'm looking to the referees throwing that wanker out of the race.

When that all happens it's surely hard to define the separation of stupid riding and stupid race courses.
 
@RedheadDane

Personally i don't really care on how. Some solutions are obvious and have been talked about for a while now. And for sure smart people could think of some others too. Depending on what the desired outcome should be.

All in all as long as at the end of the bunch sprint stages we get to see the best sprinters doing their job and for the GC contenders crash occurrence to drop significantly on such stages. That is OK by me.

P.S. As for doing something about other types of preventable crashes. For sure why not.
 
My commentators (not English) says the problem is the DS with their race radios wanting everyone on front, so it just ends up being impossible no matter how large the road is. One simply cannot have both sprinters and gc and both their trains in the front, it's just impossible. So according to them the crashes happens when everyone is trying to get to the front.

To my noob eyes/ears that sounds about accurate and so it's about changing mindsets to fit the space that's actually there.
 
Unfortunately, on (potential) crosswind stages, both GC teams and sprinter teams will have a very good reason to want to be at/near the front. GC team; not wanting to lose time in the GC. Sprinter teams; not wanting to lose the chance of sprinting for the win. Sure, they could encourage GC teams to just stay at the back; after all, if all GC riders lose time, it kinda evens itself out, but this is sport! They're competing, and a part of being a good GC rider is the ability to be, if not downright good, then at least able to stay up there in all kinds of terrains.
Bernal is such a good GC rider in part because he - despite not exactly looking the part - is damn good at riding in the crosswinds. Whereas a rider like Yates - both of them, actually - have some issues with that sort of racing.

At the end of the day I just think that GC rider crashes out - either just of competition, or the race entirely - because of getting caught up in/behind a crash on a sprint stage is a tiny, tiny issue compared to other issues. As we have unfortunately seen, serious crashes can happen in the sprint itself, with no risk of time-loss for GC riders, because it's - obviously - within the last 3 Ks. I'd say focus on those crashes first, both by implementing standards for barriers (being done!), and by sanctioning riders who veer needlessly off their line, even if no disaster occurs.
 
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Reactions: noob
In my opinion winning the national lottery doesn't exactly prove if you are good at gambling or not. If hence there will be a reduction of GC crashes in bunch sprint stages in the future. I don't feel that says much about some rider overall abilities all that much.

As for things like keeping the crosswind option open. For sure i am OK with that. I said i don't care all that much about on how. As long as all parties involved do stay rather happy and the GC crashes occurrences drop significantly on such stages that is OK with me. Saying the current situation is the best one and nothing can be done to improve it. In the end that is just sloppy isn't it?
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Again; I'm more focused on reducing the People (Almost) Dying crashes! No GC riders involved in that crash in Poland last year. Well... who gives a ***? Fabio Jakobsen still almost died!
Or what about crashes that occur in situations that are in no way related to any racing? When Antoine Demoitie crashed during the 2016 Ghent-Wevelgem he was far behind any sort of race action, good thing too, because then at least it wasn't filmed...
 
@roundabout

If a bunch sprint stage decided GC outcome then in 99% of the time something is wrong with such GT race.

@RedheadDane

I don't have issues with that and i support such efforts.

@all

Basically yes. This is one of the problems involed. Some of you actually defend the current situation and are relaying on crashes on bunch sprint stages to make GT racing "more interesting". And feel that you would get less if somebody would take that away from you.

Are you really all that sure about that? Is a GT race really "more interesting" for you to watch after such things happen? For me personally it's *** after.
 
If a bunch sprint stage decided GC outcome then in 99% of the time something is wrong with such GT race.
Not if the GC action is - partially - decided by crosswind action leading up to said bunch sprint.

I don't have issues with that and i support such efforts.
Then why are you so focused on the minor issue of making sure GC riders don't lose time? Better to put all the effort on the important matters.
 
@RedheadDane

Because for the problems you listed you didn't list any potential solutions. Hence i imagine we are still far from understanding the potential solutions and after implementing it. Basically saying lets not do anything for now.

As for the bunch sprint stages problem. That is by no means a minor problem. It's a huge problem. And as people have dealt with it for a while. I feel that only the last step is now missing. That is to actually do something about it. About a known problem with known potential solutions.

AFAIK the majority of possible solutions circulating doesn't exclude the possibility to gain GC advantage in crosswinds situation. Hence i see this as a non issue.
 
Because for the problems you listed you didn't list any potential solutions. Hence i imagine we are still far from understanding the potential solutions and after implementing it. Basically saying lets not do anything for now.
Why don't you come up with an easily implementable solution to the "issue" of GC riders losing time during sprint-stage crashes? On that doesn't take away the riders' need to be able to position themselves. UCI already tried by implementing the 3K rule. But what about crashes like the one on stage 5, which happened with 11 Ks to go - and because of a touch-of-wheels - should UCI implement a 15K rule? Or maybe a 20K rule? Or a 50K rule? Can't you see how stupid that looks?

As for the bunch sprint stages problem. That is by no means a minor problem. It's a huge problem.
Compared to people getting seriously injured, or even dying, GC riders losing time is a minor problem!
 
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@roundabout

Enough.

@RedheadDane

Crosswinds are a non factor in this debate. Nobody is saying or trying to eliminate the possibility to gain GC advantage in crosswinds situation.

@Netserk

In my opinion whatever it takes to start noticing a significant drop in statistics. That is GC related crashes at the end of bunch sprint stages. Preferably 0.

@all

In the end the truth is we are talking about some minor adjustments. In contrary on how some people in this thread are now exaggerating on how cycling would surely die after. And then the same people in other thread say something like ah it's a bunch sprint stage today i will take a pass.
 
My commentators (not English) says the problem is the DS with their race radios wanting everyone on front, so it just ends up being impossible no matter how large the road is. One simply cannot have both sprinters and gc and both their trains in the front, it's just impossible. So according to them the crashes happens when everyone is trying to get to the front.

To my noob eyes/ears that sounds about accurate and so it's about changing mindsets to fit the space that's actually there.
If it was just about GC riders being mixed in with sprinters in the finale, we wouldn’t have crashes in classics, and we wouldn’t have crashes in final straights when gc riders are soft pedaling, and we wouldn’t have crashes as riders approach a climb on a narrow road, and we wouldn’t have crashes 50km out.

But we do.

I’m all for taking action to reduce the risk of crashes. It seems to me that the increase of time gap to 3s/3km (when I started watching it was 1s/1km) at stage racing has probably improved things. But I don’t want to see a situation where gc riders can just check out of the bunch with 10km to go.
 
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Honestly racing is about risk that comes with speed and some natural impacts like rain, wind, hills.
Excessive road furniture and suicidal changes in road width are not natural and should be minimized whenever possible. If they absolutely can't; those risks could be marked much better and perhaps have a unique sign 1km out. That or make it part of the town/village/city route award to remove them and replace them after the race passes. They seem fine with repaving a large amount of alpine roads in the Tour de F....in the middle of nowhere. Have a budge for median removals where they may help.
 
Crosswinds are a non factor in this debate. Nobody is saying or trying to eliminate the possibility to gain GC advantage in crosswinds situation.
I'm a little confused... you keep saying that GC riders should be encouraged to not go near the front of the peloton during the finale on flat stages, but it's also totally fine that they go near the front during the finale on flat stages. Crosswind situations tend to happen on flat/sprint stages.

In the end the truth is we are talking about some minor adjustments. In contrary on how some people in this thread are now exaggerating on how cycling would surely die after. And then the same people in other thread say something like ah it's a bunch sprint stage today i will take a pass.
And you're acting like cycling is dying because every now-and-then a GC rider loses time, or crashes out completely, because of getting caught up in/behind a crash on a sprint stage.
 
Putting my motorsport hat on, it completely baffles me when we see multiple rider crashes, with riders & bikes strewn all over the road - and nothing happens. Really? Just because it's been like this forever doesn't mean it has to be like this. If I'm a team manager/sponsor and my GC contender loses time through no fault of his own, I want to know why nothing was done. And don't tell me 'they should have ridden near the front' - as that's not possible. In fact, I think that is what is causing crashes - you can't all ride at the front - it's just not possible.

I'd like to see more pro-active decisions from the race director; if it's really bad then you stop the race. If not, you can carry on at a reduced pace set by the lead car, enabling people to get back on easily after a major pile up. Sorted, no problem. Except, this is cycling, and is stuck in another era.
 
Putting my motorsport hat on, it completely baffles me when we see multiple rider crashes, with riders & bikes strewn all over the road - and nothing happens. Really? Just because it's been like this forever doesn't mean it has to be like this. If I'm a team manager/sponsor and my GC contender loses time through no fault of his own, I want to know why nothing was done. And don't tell me 'they should have ridden near the front' - as that's not possible. In fact, I think that is what is causing crashes - you can't all ride at the front - it's just not possible.

I'd like to see more pro-active decisions from the race director; if it's really bad then you stop the race. If not, you can carry on at a reduced pace set by the lead car, enabling people to get back on easily after a major pile up. Sorted, no problem. Except, this is cycling, and is stuck in another era.
Would all crashes qualify for that, or only the ones involving the most privileged GC contenders? Should it also apply in one-day races, and would you also order the breakaway to wait?

It is already possible for the commisaires to neutralise the race in case of force majeure, and I would like it to stay that way.
 
I'd like to see more pro-active decisions from the race director; if it's really bad then you stop the race. If not, you can carry on at a reduced pace set by the lead car, enabling people to get back on easily after a major pile up. Sorted, no problem. Except, this is cycling, and is stuck in another era.
They do sometimes stop/neutralise the race when it's really bad. We saw that as recently as at the Giro this year. However, "really bad" tend to mean "there are so many people injuried that the ambulances are all busy, so if there was a crash shortly afterwards, it would be disaster!"
 
Honestly racing is about risk that comes with speed and some natural impacts like rain, wind, hills.
Excessive road furniture and suicidal changes in road width are not natural and should be minimized whenever possible. If they absolutely can't; those risks could be marked much better and perhaps have a unique sign 1km out. That or make it part of the town/village/city route award to remove them and replace them after the race passes. They seem fine with repaving a large amount of alpine roads in the Tour de F....in the middle of nowhere. Have a budget for median removals where they may help.
On the point about unique signage: on today's descents I did notice added very bright neon chevron signs for tight turns. Perhaps I'd missed them before but they were an obvious addition to the black/white signs with increased number of chevrons for tight turns. That's a great move. Now do the same thing to other features or, Netserk posted: " It is already possible for the commisaires to neutralise the race in case of force majeure, and I would like it to stay that way. "
I used to enjoy racing to the narrow portions or hill approaches but honestly didn't have to compete with 179 others to do it. I'm not sure how to functionally freeze a racing peloton through a hazard but it would be just like yellow zone racing in F1-no one is allowed to advance.
As for road furniture-remove the really bad ones like median curbs and then replace them after. It costs money but then; the tourist towns generally are paying to be included in the route.
 
If we just look at the TDF, where the crashes seem to be the most prominent lately, the biggest problem is downhill sections in the last 20km of sprint stages. That should simply not happen. Having 180 riders drag racing each other to be in the top 20 positions on a downhill going at 70-80 km/h is a recipe for disatser. And a clear reason for crahes in stges 1 and 3 in this years TDF.
 
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If we just look at the TDF, where the crashes seem to be the most prominent lately, the biggest problem is downhill sections in the last 20km of sprint stages. That should simply not happen. Having 180 riders drag racing each other to be in the top 20 positions on a downhill going at 70-80 km/h is a recipe for disatser. And a clear reason for crahes in stges 1 and 3 in this years TDF.
I disagree, in that, I think we still need to have climbs in the last 20km of some sprint stages, so there are going to have to be some downhill sections to those. But the nature of the downhills needs to be looked at carefully; 180 riders en bloc approaching a pinch point where the road chokes down to half the width is obviously to be avoided.
 
Reactions: RedheadDane
Putting my motorsport hat on, it completely baffles me when we see multiple rider crashes, with riders & bikes strewn all over the road - and nothing happens. Really? Just because it's been like this forever doesn't mean it has to be like this. If I'm a team manager/sponsor and my GC contender loses time through no fault of his own, I want to know why nothing was done. And don't tell me 'they should have ridden near the front' - as that's not possible. In fact, I think that is what is causing crashes - you can't all ride at the front - it's just not possible.

I'd like to see more pro-active decisions from the race director; if it's really bad then you stop the race. If not, you can carry on at a reduced pace set by the lead car, enabling people to get back on easily after a major pile up. Sorted, no problem. Except, this is cycling, and is stuck in another era.
One thing I would be looking into - if I was a DS or team owner or GT star - would be investing in someone to make workable collarbone protectors. Surely if a moto-GP rider can hit the deck at 200+kph, and walk away, a cyclist could find a way to protect the collarbones. You look at those old leather helmets and think: yep, we've worked out how to protect the head now.

Maybe they're a bit annoying (as is a helmet - the tdf peloton protested when they became compulsory), maybe you only need them in the first week......but surely you need some insurance on those easily breakable/race ending parts.

All the advances in machinery.....zero on collarbones.
 
Reactions: Koronin and noob
One thing I would be looking into - if I was a DS or team owner or GT star - would be investing in someone to make workable collarbone protectors. Surely if a moto-GP rider can hit the deck at 200+kph, and walk away, a cyclist could find a way to protect the collarbones. You look at those old leather helmets and think: yep, we've worked out how to protect the head now.

Maybe they're a bit annoying (as is a helmet - the tdf peloton protested when they became compulsory), maybe you only need them in the first week......but surely you need some insurance on those easily breakable/race ending parts.

All the advances in machinery.....zero on collarbones.
DSM’s kit supplier reckon they have some wonder material that protects from road rash injuries.

Beyond that, a collar bone protector is a very specific piece of kit for a very specific injury that isn’t necessarily more prevalent than injuries to other extremities. The best protection for a collar bone injury is probably learning how to fall better.
 
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