Crashes, what can be done?

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I see this isn't the thread I commented on ages ago, which just goes to show that nothing is done and the same things keep happening.

The easiest option is taking GC times at 10km. This gives you the 3km rule from 13km and loads of distance afterwards to get the sprinters into town in a reduced bunch. Yes, it'll take some adjustment and yes, it'll feel weird, but I'm not sure what other options there really are. The current 3km rule is reactive and I personally feel this is a very poor way to manage crashes.

Comparison to F1 is always a bad idea, because we accept that riders get bumped around and lose control of their bikes without being punished. There's no way to unpick every crash and try and work out who was at fault, especially as cameras don't pick up a lot of it. In motor racing it's much easier to assess and punish dangerous driving/riding etc.
 
I see this isn't the thread I commented on ages ago, which just goes to show that nothing is done and the same things keep happening.

The easiest option is taking GC times at 10km. This gives you the 3km rule from 13km and loads of distance afterwards to get the sprinters into town in a reduced bunch. Yes, it'll take some adjustment and yes, it'll feel weird, but I'm not sure what other options there really are. The current 3km rule is reactive and I personally feel this is a very poor way to manage crashes.

Comparison to F1 is always a bad idea, because we accept that riders get bumped around and lose control of their bikes without being punished. There's no way to unpick every crash and try and work out who was at fault, especially as cameras don't pick up a lot of it. In motor racing it's much easier to assess and punish dangerous driving/riding etc.
That's an idea but there will still be crashes from the many riders and teams contesting the stage win. I agree with your point regarding F1. Sadly they still feel the need to effectively ban open cockpit racing but that's another matter!
 
That's an idea but there will still be crashes from the many riders and teams contesting the stage win. I agree with your point regarding F1. Sadly they still feel the need to effectively ban open cockpit racing but that's another matter!
It'll be impossible to remove crashes completely and I don't think sprinters going down at the very end is most people's biggest issue, although I don't think anyone wants riders to get injured. Ewan went down through loss of control/touch of wheels/whatever that had nothing to do with the route and that's always going to be a risk. Unless they decide to ban people they can determine caused a crash, whether it's judged an accident or not, riders will push the limits to try and win.

The biggest problem most people seem to have with crashes on these types of stages is affects the GC race, because GC riders are forced to mix it at the front of the peloton with the sprint trains, or risk losing time by getting stuck behind a crash, gaps happening at the finish etc. The 3km rule is supposed to help here, and it does, but it only applies if there is a crash, so the GC riders still have to be there in the mix. This means that crashes are more likely. Taking GC times earlier means that GC riders, and their domestiques, can drift back and let the sprinters and their trains get on with it. There will still be crashes, but they would have a much smaller impact on the race overall and hopefully they'd be reduced as there would be more space on the road. I don't think it'd have much of an effect on the overall racing. People who want to go for yellow can still go for yellow. The break may actually work together more to hit that 10km mark as far ahead of the peloton as they can and you can still give bonus seconds on the sprint line to separate the winner and determine jersey wearers. I honestly think that the impact would be overwhelmingly positive.

I suppose the other option is to keep cutting team sizes. 5-6 riders per team is going to cut the number of riders on the road significantly.
 
I see this isn't the thread I commented on ages ago, which just goes to show that nothing is done and the same things keep happening.

The easiest option is taking GC times at 10km. This gives you the 3km rule from 13km and loads of distance afterwards to get the sprinters into town in a reduced bunch. Yes, it'll take some adjustment and yes, it'll feel weird, but I'm not sure what other options there really are. The current 3km rule is reactive and I personally feel this is a very poor way to manage crashes.

Comparison to F1 is always a bad idea, because we accept that riders get bumped around and lose control of their bikes without being punished. There's no way to unpick every crash and try and work out who was at fault, especially as cameras don't pick up a lot of it. In motor racing it's much easier to assess and punish dangerous driving/riding etc.
Ya, this is what I think. I think rule should be if the peloton is above a certain percentage of the startlist just to cater for potential echelons where you want GC times to matter to the end.
 
Thomas Crash: Too early in race to be attributable to anything.
Roglic/Lopez Crashes: Straight road, too many wanting to be at the front for when road narrowed.
Haig Crash: This is the one that can be addressed. Unsuitable road for end of this stage. Twisty, narrow, bad bend with nasty camber and badly positioned buildings. Asking for trouble.
Ewan Crash: Sprinters will sprint.

So, all this suggestion about 10km neutralisations. No! Rubbish. It completely changes what we watch. Simply ensure that sprint stages don't include twisty narrow roads in the final 10-15 clicks.

10km is a fifteenth of today's stage. The break is often still out there. Rubbish!

Otherwise, accept that there will always be crashes, there are in every race.
 
Cyclists demanded from ASO to make stage 3 safer otherwise there will be crashes. ASO refused to apply. After crashes happened UCI claimed somewhere in the lines of it was riders fault.

To me that is incompetence and ASO and UCI should be held accountable.
 
The best thing people can do about this is to stop blaming
  • the UCI
  • the organizers
  • the roundabouts
  • the descends
  • the sharp bends
  • the spectators
  • the signs
  • the holes in the road
  • the branches from trees
  • the bottles
  • the wind
  • um, and did I forget to mention the UCI?
 
It'll be impossible to remove crashes completely and I don't think sprinters going down at the very end is most people's biggest issue, although I don't think anyone wants riders to get injured. Ewan went down through loss of control/touch of wheels/whatever that had nothing to do with the route and that's always going to be a risk. Unless they decide to ban people they can determine caused a crash, whether it's judged an accident or not, riders will push the limits to try and win.

The biggest problem most people seem to have with crashes on these types of stages is affects the GC race, because GC riders are forced to mix it at the front of the peloton with the sprint trains, or risk losing time by getting stuck behind a crash, gaps happening at the finish etc. The 3km rule is supposed to help here, and it does, but it only applies if there is a crash, so the GC riders still have to be there in the mix. This means that crashes are more likely. Taking GC times earlier means that GC riders, and their domestiques, can drift back and let the sprinters and their trains get on with it. There will still be crashes, but they would have a much smaller impact on the race overall and hopefully they'd be reduced as there would be more space on the road. I don't think it'd have much of an effect on the overall racing. People who want to go for yellow can still go for yellow. The break may actually work together more to hit that 10km mark as far ahead of the peloton as they can and you can still give bonus seconds on the sprint line to separate the winner and determine jersey wearers. I honestly think that the impact would be overwhelmingly positive.

I suppose the other option is to keep cutting team sizes. 5-6 riders per team is going to cut the number of riders on the road significantly.
They are not battling to stay in front of splits happening in the last 3 km (which is a non-issue with the 3''-rule), they are battling to be ahead of crashes happening before 3 km to go, and to not get involved in the crashes in the last 3 km.

As long as they expect crashes to happen and everyone else to battle for position, they too will muscle their way to the front 13 km, 18 km, 25 km before the finish. The problem is the riders/teams.
 
They are not battling to stay in front of splits happening in the last 3 km (which is a non-issue with the 3''-rule), they are battling to be ahead of crashes happening before 3 km to go, and to not get involved in the crashes in the last 3 km.

As long as they expect crashes to happen and everyone else to battle for position, they too will muscle their way to the front 13 km, 18 km, 25 km before the finish. The problem is the riders/teams.
I think banning team radios and only having a neutral race radio would help. It would be less hectic if we didn't have a DS screaming into every riders ear to stay at the front.
Having a really technical run in after a straight forward sprint stage is also rather pointless, save technical finals for hillier stages.
 
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The best thing people can do about this is to stop blaming
  • the UCI
  • the organizers
  • the roundabouts
  • the descends
  • the sharp bends
  • the spectators
  • the signs
  • the holes in the road
  • the branches from trees
  • the bottles
  • the wind
  • um, and did I forget to mention the UCI?
It's not just blaming.
Usually riders are responsible for what happens. If everyone rode in the most perfect way there would hardly be any crashes. But we know not everyone rides perfectly. Some of that is due to a certain recklessness - which on the other hand is often even asked for, someone who thinks too much about the possible consequences of riding in such a bunch at such speeds is not capable of being a pro rider.
But most of it is due to small concentration errors, small technical mistakes, misjudgements, reaction times that could have been better.
Organizers have to take into account that riders are human beings and that there will be such errors.
Not every crash can be avoided. It's about reducing the number. Give less opportunities for such small mistakes to become game-changing.
I guess someone like Roglic isn't the perfect bunch rider. It might not be a coincidence that van der Poel, Alaphilippe and van Aert were in the first group in the end. That doesn't mean the other riders are amateurs who don't know how to handle their bike. You cannot plan a route taking the skills of the best riders as a precondition for every rider.

(And of course even the best will be taken out from time to time, either because they get drawn into it by others or because they make a mistake themselves eventually.)
 
They are not battling to stay in front of splits happening in the last 3 km (which is a non-issue with the 3''-rule), they are battling to be ahead of crashes happening before 3 km to go, and to not get involved in the crashes in the last 3 km.

As long as they expect crashes to happen and everyone else to battle for position, they too will muscle their way to the front 13 km, 18 km, 25 km before the finish. The problem is the riders/teams.
I wrote:

...because GC riders are forced to mix it at the front of the peloton with the sprint trains, or risk losing time by getting stuck behind a crash, gaps happening at the finish etc...
seems to cover everything and yes, they still don't want to get gapped at the finish for whatever reason.

As for the same thing happening if times are taken earlier, this seems unlikely. The front of a race is a very different place to be at 3km compared to 10km and this is unlikely to change in a flat stage where the main prize is still 10km away.
 
Riders can't take the full responsibility if nobody listens to them. People and organisations that decide for them. Some of you are claiming they don't have any responsibility for their decisions.

That is just whacked.
Riders, and teams, don't do themselves any favours by raising these things at the last minute. I'm pretty sure the rules allow them to raise issues with the route before the morning of the race and even if they don't, they can comment and make sure representatives know a long way in advance. The finishes have been known for a long time now. I've not listened to the interview but I think this is what Philipe Gilbert has complained about as a CPA rep.
 
People keep mentioning F1/ motor racing; when there is a multiple car pile up, they don't usually carry on racing; they'll either bring out a Red flag to stop the race - or there will be a double yellow/full course caution behind the safety car.
However, in cycling this very rarely happens - despite bodies/bikes all over the road like a battlefield. This is something I'd like to see change - they need to be more pro-active on this. Either stop the race, or carry on at a reduced speed to allow the race to re-organise, safely.
 
When was the last time a GC rider lost time in the last 3 km? And how would that have changed if the 3 km-rule wasn't reactive?
This isn't really the point is it? The current rules force them to congest the roads at some of the most dangerous parts of a flat stage because they have to be there to benefit from the rule. The idea is to remove them from these parts of the race so that 1) there is more space and 2) crashes that may happen do not have a huge effect on the overall GC classification.
 
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