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Crashes, what can be done?

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It's not the disc brakes or all the riders being bad bike handlers it's the modern team blueprint coupled with the varying agendas of a sprint (flattish) stage. Every GC guy wants to stay near the front but not expend too much energy and they all have 2 or 3 super strong teammates to help them do it. Every guy who thinks he is in with a chance at the sprint win wants to stay near the front and not expend too much energy, and they all have 2 or 3 guys to help them do it. So we wind up with 20 trains that all want the front on 5-6 meter wide roads. And they are going fast! To relax or hesitate drops you back 60 places. Then it starts raining and nobody wants to be the first to hesitate. A lot of times everyone makes it though okay, but one incident and suddenly it's bowling for bike racers. I don't know what the solution might be or even if there is one.
 
Why were they going so fast then if it was that slippery?
why wouldn't they be? straight road, slight downhill, heading towards the finish & everyones getting ready for a sprint finish. Someone loses grip & crashes & people panic trying to avoid him & they crash as well. There's nothing new or unique here. At the Basque you could clearly point to the modern day culture of cycling as being the chief culprit, but this was just a fluke accident.
 
What Hugh Januss said.

It's because they are riding too closely packed.
Ride half or 3/4 bike length clear of the bloke in front and a handlebar width clear of the rider next to you, and you've enough space to avoid touching wheels without braking, just freewheeling for 10 or 20 metres.
The tighter packed you are, the more likely it is that you'll have to brake to avoid a wheel touch, and if you brake, the rider behind will have to brake harder, and wet roads and braking don't go well together.

The trouble is that if you leave a gap, someone will move in to it and you'll drop back.

Ban race radios, I say.
 
The peleton were riding in a pack with two or three riders abreast at times. They would have been in single file if they were going flat out. This particualr descent was not that technical and the vision shows the crashes occurred on a straightish piece of road.
 
It's not the disc brakes or all the riders being bad bike handlers it's the modern team blueprint coupled with the varying agendas of a sprint (flattish) stage. Every GC guy wants to stay near the front but not expend too much energy and they all have 2 or 3 super strong teammates to help them do it. Every guy who thinks he is in with a chance at the sprint win wants to stay near the front and not expend too much energy, and they all have 2 or 3 guys to help them do it. So we wind up with 20 trains that all want the front on 5-6 meter wide roads. And they are going fast! To relax or hesitate drops you back 60 places. Then it starts raining and nobody wants to be the first to hesitate. A lot of times everyone makes it though okay, but one incident and suddenly it's bowling for bike racers. I don't know what the solution might be or even if there is one.

the disc brakes definitely add to it. they are so much more confident on the brakes that they think they'll be able to correct going into a corner too fast much quicker than with rim brakes. i dont think that was the problem today, it looked like it was more to do with the road conditions, but i dont think it helps at all.
 
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That's what they call a bike race, yes.
It's an endurance sport, though. If you race at Le Mans like it's Touring Cars with a 30 minute paint-swapping battle and foot firm to the floor throughout, you'll break the car before you get to the end.

I actually think that with the increase in technology and speeds, we might be better served making races longer to make them safer, because if riders need to take more care to manage their efforts rather than going 100% all out to drill it all the time, they'll use things like these descents as recovery time, because recovery time will be more important, and so they'd race those sections less aggressively organically.
 
It's an endurance sport, though. If you race at Le Mans like it's Touring Cars with a 30 minute paint-swapping battle and foot firm to the floor throughout, you'll break the car before you get to the end.

I actually think that with the increase in technology and speeds, we might be better served making races longer to make them safer, because if riders need to take more care to manage their efforts rather than going 100% all out to drill it all the time, they'll use things like these descents as recovery time, because recovery time will be more important, and so they'd race those sections less aggressively organically.
Well at Le Mans now, reliability is no longer a thing. they drive like they stole it from the first corner to the last. Its insane & its glorious & you all should watch it. (It's live on eurosport next week)

But yes, I suspect you're onto something. It reminds me of pack racing on American ovals. You have a lot of cars driven by drivers with similar ability & the same horsepower.. they're all bunched up, some idiot gets it wrong, we have a big one & someone goes to victory lane, someone goes to hospital.

Its like that in pro-cycling. Everyone, even the kids can do a 300k 7 hour race easily. Which means at the end of the race when it starts getting faster & more hectic, theres more riders in a big bunch. Which upon reaching a treacherous part of the course results in disaster. The days of long races are gone, so that leaves us with 'how do we make the last 100k harder?'
 
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Stage 5 of the Dauphiné is a good example on where protocols in regards to barriers, road surface ... would likely not detect anything peculiar and additional safety measures would hence not take place. Considering it happened through and through the peloton and in at least two separate incidents, this hence can't be riders fault in terms of dangerous riding or fighting for positions at the front of the peloton. One does have to ask a question, on what happens on that section of the rode in regards to the regular traffic, is it that dangerous?

All in all unavoidable crash(es) occurred. What failed and needs to improve in the future is a "fail-safe measures" were missing. In this case in terms of better apparel, this area was neglected in the past and this needs to change ASAP. I am sure that the number of injuries involved would be dramatically less for each decade invested in improvements in this area. Currently it's 0, beyond helmet.

Additional measures that could be explored and implemented in the future are "safety car". That is in front of the peloton there would be a dedicated vehicle that measures the elements and alerts the riders of potential danger. In this case for example riders would get a warning displayed on their computer, lets say in terms of a scale from 1 to 10. On stage 5 hence the number would increase to lets say a number in between 8 and 10 (slippery surface) and riders would be able to adjust their riding if they would see it fit. That is as this is racing one couldn't simply mandate to the riders to ride that section at some maximum allowed speed. The choice would still need to be made by rider(s).

Now this is not some sci-fi. All big automotive and IT companies are heavily invested in this area, autonomous driving, hence i am sure that most of them would be prepared to provide such vehicle in terms of some sponsorship deal with UCI or if UCI would try to dodge the responsibility again, an organiser such as ASO or RCS. And i am with Plugge on this one, that is F1 and cycling are not that different. In both sports safety can be improved if parties involved do actually give a damn about improving it. In F1 they do in cycling not so much ATM.
 
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My proposal would be to "nerf" the wheels on the bikes. The rolling resistance of the worst wheel on bicyclerollingresistance is 25W vs 6W of the best. Thats fairly significant already. Now make the rolling resistance even worse, by requiring some profiles in the tires or some such. Then disallow aero "deep dish" wheels for more watt loss. Also, if you have ridden them, you know, they certainly don't make your ride safer.

Nerfing the wheels by 50W or more should appreciably slow down the average speed of the race, which in turn will make the average crash happen at slower speed, which should statistically result in less bone breakage. All these changes won't take away from viewer enjoyment IMO.
 
You seem to think all broken bones are serious injuries that need some sort of investigation. Sometimes, people just... break bones.

I see. Well, no, that is not enough. As a cycling fan you obviously can have such opinion and based on my perception, you are not alone in perceiving riders safety in such way, neglecting it or finding it unimportant. Riders, race organizers and governing bodies. For them obviously such stance on riders safety is not acceptable any more. That is currently riders are the ones that started demanding progress and took responsibility in regards to improving riders safety into their own hands. The pressure from riders will force organizers and especially governing bodies to take riders safety seriously. With time i feel that people in power will either take this responsibility or won't get elected to such positions any more. The role of fans will likely be, riders will piss them off and that will serve as additional leverage to apply pressure. I don't believe fans in general will start to apply more pressure by themself. If that would to happen it already would, in the past 100 years or so.
 
Maybe @CyclistAbi was sarcastic.

Current state of things and addressing them, in regards to riders safety in pro peloton, that is on such low level, that one can't be sarcastic about it any more. It's like we used to have jokes about politicians, now, on the other hand, they do such good job themself that it's impossible to beat them at their own game. Generations of comedians out of their jobs as a result, or i guess they all went into politics.
 
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Maybe @CyclistAbi was sarcastic.
A few months ago, on a group ride, one of my friends stopped suddenly at the end of a section due to uncertainty as to which direction to go at a fork in the road. We were going slowly as it was an uphill drag. I was following too close to react in time, touched wheels and I fell off. Instinctively I put my arm out to break my fall. I was not hurt, but it's precisely how many innocuous incidents happen in the pro péloton (which obviously can impact a lot more riders as they travel as a pack, and also will be occurring at a much higher speed than a hobbyist like myself, increasing the force of the blow and thereby the likelihood of injury), and it's also how many collarbones break, because it's a point of weakness when using an arm to break a fall.

In CyclistAbi's world, had that happened in a race, any injuries I sustained would have been due to sheer reprehensible negligence by the race organisers and the UCI in not providing me with an airbag to protect against a direct blow to the collarbone (even though the direct blow was to my forearm and elbow, not the collarbone), providing catch netting or fencing on this totally innocuous stretch of road, or signposting that my friend was about to slow suddenly.
 
@Libertine Seguros

Should amateur/pro cyclists remove the helmet then too? And if not, as i assume that will be your answer, should pro cyclists and their teams take the initiative and start bringing more protective apparel in the peloton themself? As in your opinion the responsibility is solely on cyclists, then surely its up to cyclists and their teams to make such move and to better protect themself and prevent unnecessary injuries. And when all this starts happening do you reckon for UCI to back them or try to ban such apparel?

Plus a bonus question. Will you change your mind, once the data becomes clear, that is number of collarbone injuries can be substantially reduced in pro peloton with better apparel. Will you use such apparel, considering your bike handling skills might be even worse compared to Rogla. Pun intended.
 
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