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Crashes, what can be done?

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I speak with an spanish UCI commisary about Crash...for them is just Riders fault that everybody want to go ahead and before people descent on one straith...maybe, but maybe something is possible to do...at least some corners were ro falll is dangerous, put something to protect, it is no the same to hit an stone than grass. And that corner has both things. Quite dangerous for the speed and with rocks...
The worst thing about it: We as spectators and viewers don't get anything out of the higher speeds. To us, it doesn't make a difference if they go 70 kph or 80 kph. If it's on the track and a rider wants to beat the world record, it makes sense for the audience that he goes to the limit. But on the road, a potentially winning speed is always relative to that of other riders' speed, and fast is fast.

Last year, a team manager suggested a reduction of speed on bikes. He was laughed at by many, but there are ways to do it meaningfully. For instance by increasing the wind resistance.
 
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Ben Hermans on Sporza (https://sporza.be/nl/2024/04/05/-he...e-alarmbel-na-vele-valpartijen~1712327892994/)

Basically talking about the same issues that have been discussed on here forever: young guard doesn't have the same respect as they used to have and rides recklessly. Interestingly he mentions an example: "Yesterday I saw a rider - with over 50 professional victories - be harassed and bullied by young riders constantly."

Based on what race he was riding that has to be Sam Bennett.
 
most corners & their surrounding's are dangerous when you're travelling over 40mph on a descent. You either put barriers up on the corners, or try to use some sort of signalling system and hope the riders react accordingly.
Speed had an effect on the severity of the injuries, but I don’t see it as main problem creating the crash. If a rider or team had attacked over really pushed the pace at the start of the descent, it would have strung out the peloton as we often see. As a result, even if they were going faster than yesterday, almost every rider would take the best line through that corner on the inside of the curve. Even if some lost it they would slide on the road first rather than directly into those obstacles at full speed. Second, even if a few riders fell the riders in line behind them would have more of a chance to react.
Thus, the biggest precipitant as I see it was taking that descent at speed 3-4 abreast. Which was probably due to DS’s telling GC riders to stay at the front.
 
The worst thing about it: We as spectators and viewers don't get anything out of the higher speeds. To us, it doesn't make a difference if they go 70 kph or 80 kph. If it's on the track and a rider want to beat the world record, it makes sense for the audience that he goes to the limit. But on the road, a potentially winning speed is always relative to that of other riders' speed, and fast is fast.

Last year, a team manager suggested a reduction of speed on bikes. He was laughed at by many, but there are ways to do it meaningfully. For instance by increasing the wind resistance.

I'm sure some fans will complain if the riders are no longer able to hit the same speeds as before. Even some riders might do the same. The media is of course also pushing the fastest racing ever headline, which probably attracts more people than "safest era ever" would.
 
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I'm sure some fans will complain if the riders are no longer able to hit the same speeds as before. Even some riders might do the same. The media is of course also pushing the fastest racing ever headline, which probably attracts more people than "safest era ever" would.
Nah, I think even new fans would be aware you can’t really “see” speed.

But the answer certainly isn’t less aero bikes. My dad hit 65mph on a descent on his steel bike in the late 50s. He knew because someone in a car next to him shouted through their window !
 
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Pierre Rolland (the man who gave us many memorable 50 m attacks) talks mental effects of crashes.
https://cyclinguptodate.com/cycling...s-pierre-rolland-on-the-scary-side-of-cycling
"When you fall, there are physical injuries but there are also and above all mental scars," Rolland points out. "I have experienced many massive falls, or sometimes even solitary ones, on both wet and dry surfaces... And honestly, I'm not ashamed to say that after my last big fall on the TdF in 2016, the rest of my career was synonymous with apprehension and anxiety."
 
Speed had an effect on the severity of the injuries, but I don’t see it as main problem creating the crash. If a rider or team had attacked over really pushed the pace at the start of the descent, it would have strung out the peloton as we often see. As a result, even if they were going faster than yesterday, almost every rider would take the best line through that corner on the inside of the curve. Even if some lost it they would slide on the road first rather than directly into those obstacles at full speed. Second, even if a few riders fell the riders in line behind them would have more of a chance to react.
Thus, the biggest precipitant as I see it was taking that descent at speed 3-4 abreast. Which was probably due to DS’s telling GC riders to stay at the front.

Not just that, but the size of the peloton due to the piano-riding of the prior climb. Not sure you can do anything about that, however.

Some of the worst crashes I've seen in recent years at the Tour have been on medium mountain, or classics-like parcours, where you have a very large peloton due to the course either being ridden easily or not being difficult. Everyone remembers Opi-Omi but the crash later in the stage, on a wide-open descent, on a straight road, that sent riders flying into ditches and spectators, was far more serious. That year, or the next, a crash on a classic break stage sent a ton of riders flying off a berm into the woods below.

Some of the worst crashes at Classics in recent years have been in similar circumstances as well - I think everyone clenches their breath when the riders do that descent to the bottom of Olde Kwaremont, and that's a wide open straight road. Add that to the fact that the Tour really likes doing classics-like parcours in recent years, and you might have an underrated reason for all the crashing.
 
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Anger and sad Richard Plugge has plan ready to make course safer, but... “Some people don’t want to give the last push”​


Richard Plugge is angry. Plugge is the CEO of cycling team Visma and the big boss of Wout van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard. They are now recovering from heavy falls that he thought could have been avoided. Plugge, cycling lye Ineos and the organizers Flanders Classics and ASO have a plan to make cycling safer with Safe R. SafeR can just get started, were it not for the fact that other cycling teams are setting their foot. Why, Plugge wonders?

 
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What we disagree on is the total abrogation of responsibility from the riders because they can't be expected to assess or manage risk such that the organisers have to put an alert out that riding around corners too fast might carry an element of danger because the riders can't be expected to figure that out for themselves.
I never said this. I was saying that if the corner was dangerous based on aspects you couldn't know by flying towards it at 70km/h, the organizer should notify them of it. That's it.

The evening after the crash happened, I was under the impression that it was mostly due to the tree roots underneath the road, and that this resulted in bumps in the corner itself. This combined with their speed made them then crash. Speed can be controlled, but you do this based on what you expect, and they didn't expect the bumps. Therefor my opinion was that this should be notified with signals, so that riders would slow down.
 

Anger and sad Richard Plugge has plan ready to make course safer, but... “Some people don’t want to give the last push”​


Richard Plugge is angry. Plugge is the CEO of cycling team Visma and the big boss of Wout van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard. They are now recovering from heavy falls that he thought could have been avoided. Plugge, cycling lye Ineos and the organizers Flanders Classics and ASO have a plan to make cycling safer with Safe R. SafeR can just get started, were it not for the fact that other cycling teams are setting their foot. Why, Plugge wonders?

Alternative headline: "Entitled manchild thinks bad fortune should not be allowed to happen to him"
 
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Anger and sad Richard Plugge has plan ready to make course safer, but... “Some people don’t want to give the last push”​


Richard Plugge is angry. Plugge is the CEO of cycling team Visma and the big boss of Wout van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard. They are now recovering from heavy falls that he thought could have been avoided. Plugge, cycling lye Ineos and the organizers Flanders Classics and ASO have a plan to make cycling safer with Safe R. SafeR can just get started, were it not for the fact that other cycling teams are setting their foot. Why, Plugge wonders?


Of course Monsieur Plugge is very angry and at same time uses his time to promote one of the various organisations he is involved in.

Why would teams not want to be a part of it? Who pays the bills for this organisation? And in all honesty, why should the teams who already pay a hefty fee to have a license to be a World Team, pay more on top of that for another committee who proposes to do something that should be done by the UCI as governing body of the sport and responsible for the top tier echelon of professional cycling?

The more time I spend connected to sports in management roles, the more I see that federations are inefficient machines. In the sport I'm connected to, every year the fees our club faces are raised, every time with the justification of improving the conditions. The worst part? We don't see those improvements in the field, the conditions just keep degrading and the only thing we see improving is the balance sheet for board roles of the federation.
 
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It's mostly not a skill issue, it's mostly not a route issue, it's mostly not a safety issue, it's mostly not an equipment issue (although disc brakes can be questioned), it's mostly not any singular issue...

Except one: an homogenous level at the top of the sport whereby only a few % points separate winners from the rest, ergo every advantage possible is chased on the road - namely positioning.

Look at Van Aert's recent crash: suddenly everyone wants to be at the front because when riders are so close form wise, then the position you're in coming into categorized difficulties, descents, pinch points or sprints can be the difference between victory or a sub top 10 finish, even when the rider has the legs to compete.

The way I see it is lots of people like to pretend they have a magical solution but the truth is riders are so close now in terms of their level, i.e. every race is a hard fight & every inch of a stage can be a hard fight as well. Therefor accidents are going to happen.
 
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The more time I spend connected to sports in management roles, the more I see that federations are inefficient machines. In the sport I'm connected to, every year the fees our club faces are raised, every time with the justification of improving the conditions. The worst part? We don't see those improvements in the field, the conditions just keep degrading and the only thing we see improving is the balance sheet for board roles of the federation.
Same everywhere in every sport it would seem. And every other sector for that matter.

It's 💩
 
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I have imported about 60 posts from the Itzulia 2024 thread to here, as they dealt with the avoidance/mitigation of crashes more generally (and per majority feedback to the proposal). I hope it has not caused much discontinuity to discussion: I have avoided it as far as I can. If any contributor thinks their post should not have been moved/should also have been moved/should have stayed in both threads, PM me and I will adjust as soon as I get a chance.
 
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It’s far too easy to put the blame on cyclists. Cyclists are the ones that actually need to race to win. That are put in a situation where they are paid a lot of money as long as they win. These are competitive people that will always push themselves further until it goes wrong. That's just normal human behaviour, because of the incentives connected to winning.

Therefor it's the task of the organizers, UCI, and other instances to make sure that the environment to compete in is safe. There is more than enough low hanging fruit that can be picked to improve the safety of riders, that wouldn't cost you crazy amounts of money. Yesterday's fall was a deliberate choice to ignore Safe Cycling, and put extra effort in the safety of cyclists. This could've been resolved by:
  1. Indications that a dangerous corner is coming up by using LED lights
  2. Maybe also put a safety barrier there
Nothing will happen after this because in cycling the people with the power to change anything are empty suits that only care about themselves, their position, and their power. More riders will get injured, and probably some will die, that's the sport apparently.
This is a very sensible and practical measure. It's like the chevron banners on corners; when you see lot's of chevrons close together you know to back off.
Considering the concrete trench, posts and large rocks everyone encountered here we are lucky there wasn't a fatality. The UCI should reflect on the cost to the sport of losing the most recent Tour winner and a very popular contender if they can't concern themselves with actual safety.
It's going to be a cost to the sport not having Remco, Landa and Jonas out playing with the other kids.
 
Berniece, did you buy shares in that company that was shilling their wares to Benji? You seem to be barracking hard for their products even though they would have done absolutely zero to prevent the accident we saw this week bearing in mind it wasn't an especially dangerous corner and the organisers already had a sign up for it.

You also argued riders back in the day took fewer risks but we can't expect today's riders to have the intelligence of their predecessors because today's riders can't be expected to make rational decisions "because they want to go full gas all the time". So if they aren't smart enough to make decisions for themselves and they can't process information given on signs provided by the roadside, what difference would a slightly different sign make?
 
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Berniece, did you buy shares in that company that was shilling their wares to Benji? You seem to be barracking hard for their products even though they would have done absolutely zero to prevent the accident we saw this week bearing in mind it wasn't an especially dangerous corner and the organisers already had a sign up for it.

They wouldn't have needed those fancy products for that unprotected concrete. Just - as was already suggested shortly after the crash - some haybales.
 
They wouldn't have needed those fancy products for that unprotected concrete. Just - as was already suggested shortly after the crash - some haybales.
I agree. I have maintained this all along. Berniece is pushing that the solution is flashing lights to indicate potential hazards ahead.

Which just coincidentally happens to be the product sold by the company that apparently told Jonas Vingegaard and the Itzulia organisers all about the dangers of that descent - before the route was even announced - and then approached Benji Naesen to tell them all about how they crunched all the data and the solution to every problem in cycling is to buy their product.

Which Benji then posted as a 'gotcha' to make Twitter get angry at the race organisers because Benji is both a complete populist tool who will ride the wave of whatever will get him likes on his tweets, and somebody who was literally on the payroll of the team whose boss was most disadvantaged by the crashes in the last couple of weeks (and lied about his objectivity too), not realising that his post also implied that Vingegaard must have ignored the advices too.

Benji becoming a voice that people pay attention to regarding cycling is a bit like giving somebody who's good at Madden and only cares about one franchise a job as a Superbowl pundit.
 
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