Groenewegen crash ban

Very surprised to see no comment on this here yet.


9 month suspension from the date of the incident (sort of: 5 Aug + 9 months=7 May???). A lot longer than I had expected.

What precedent is there for this? I note that no rule under which the suspension is referenced in the UCI statement, and in the document I have to hand (there is only reference to the sanctions that the race commissionaires can give (500 CHF fine and disqualification): what rule determines the sanctions available?

Will they be handing out bans for dodgy manoeuvres that could easily have, but didn't, end in serious injury?

No comment in the UCI statement , or any other comment from them that I have seen about the incident, about race organisers needing to learn from this.
"The UCI emphasises the importance of acting on any such incidents from a disciplinary point of view in a fair and consistent manner as well as continuously working on measures aimed at improving road safety. "
Hmmm, "fair and consistent": we'll have to wait and see.
 
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I'm concerned about the precedent of a high-profile case/injury leading to a longer ban when the action is the same. There's been countless similar instances of someone being put into a barrier with consequences for those crashing but the penalty shouldn't be determined based on the level of injuries. Remember the outcry when Sagan got sent home from the Tour? That was a big outlier, this one even more so.

One that sticks in my mind is Bettini & Baden Cooke back in 2005. The behaviour (i.e. the deviation) from Bettini was far more sinister than in this case. As it was Baden wasn't badly injured, called Paolo a c*nt and started the next day, with just a relegation for Bettini. Should that be a 3 month ban if Cooke breaks his leg? Or a 9 month one if he'd gone into a coma? [http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2005/giro05/?id=results/giro054]

There was also the Theo Bos/Daryl Impey case. IIRC Bos was merely relegated initially, and it wasn't until Armstrong of all people stepped in and called the UCI out for not banning Theo because of how badly Impey was injured.

I guess I'm saying actions (and not their consequences) should lead to penalties. Maybe that is the case here and the intention from the UCI is to let less riders get away with making a big change in their line mid-sprint.

Groenewegen has my sympathies, I fear this has ruined his career.

Wishing Fabio a quick recovery, sounds like he's doing OK so far at least.
 
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If the precedent is BS, then they should simply set a new precedent. And not all deviations are the same, that's such a weak argument. Unlike many other deviations, this was a deviation where Jakobsen had 0 chance to get out, Jakobsen was gonna crash 100% of the time every single time, it was 100% due to Groenewegen, and Jakobsen nearly died because of it, and his career might be ***.

If a 9 month ban is too much for nearly killing a rival rider, what the *** are we doing?
 
So the UCI are punishing Groenewegen harshly due to the severity of Jakobsen's injuries, while part of the reason he was so badly hurt was because the race organisation put a downhill sprint and improper barriers and the UCI doing nothing? Typical.

Groenewegen deserves a ban for the manoeuvre but it's not fair that the burden of punishment is his alone, much less when the organisation handing it out is complicit.
 
I'm concerned about the precedent of a high-profile case/injury leading to a longer ban when the action is the same. There's been countless similar instances of someone being put into a barrier with consequences for those crashing but the penalty shouldn't be determined based on the level of injuries.
Why not?
If you drive under the influence and the police stops you, you get a fine and possibly a license suspension.
If you drive under the influence and you kill somebody, you will likely go to jail.

Edit: of course the race organizers should be held accountable for the incident, but this has nothing to do with Groenewegen's punishment.
 
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Why not?
If you drive under the influence and the police stops you, you get a fine and possibly a license suspension.
If you drive under the influence and you kill somebody, you will likely go to jail.

Edit: of course the race organizers should be held accountable for the incident, but this has nothing to do with Groenewegen's punishment.
I agree with this. I don't understand all these people shouting that the suspension isn't right because it sanctions the consequences not the actions.

I'd say the consequences of the actions are always taken into account when the severity of a punishment is determined. When you hit a guy in a bar fight you'll likely only get a warning or a fine. When you hit the same guy but he trips and falls on a sharp corner of a table and dies, you'll get a much more severe punishment.

You should know that those actions can have severe consequences and that you might be punished accordingly. It's a risk you take when you undertake those actions. If you drive drunk or text while driving you know full well (or at least you should know) that you'll get a fine if you'll get caught but that you'll have to go to court and face potential jail time if you 'accidentally' run someone over in the process.

That said, the race organizers and the UCI should indeed also be held accountable for the lack of safety.
 
If next year the organiser doesn't run the finish line the opposite way, so it's uphill and with barriers that actually do more than just prop up advertising for the cameras I hope the riders collectively refuse to race that finish.
 
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País Vasco was put on final warning for the cones/bollards deal in 2015. I think that status has only just been lifted (or as 2020's race was postponed, may still apply). The Tour de Pologne should absolutely be on last warning too, this isn't the first time there's been organisational trouble from a safety point of view, and the bricks they used to shore up the finishing line are just as stupid and dangerous as the bollards in País Vasco. If there was a crash at the line, there was always the risk of something like this happening, and we all know crashes in sprints aren't exactly a prized rarity. And in many of them, there isn't an obvious culprit to blame for the crash, like there was in this particular incident. If the organisation of the race is more professional, Jakobsen is hit at a lower speed, with barriers that absorb more of his speed and impact, and he doesn't smash into a pile of bricks. And maybe Groenewegen is banned and maybe he isn't.
 
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In a way this ban might even help Groenewegen and everyone to deal with this.
Groenewegen will have problems to be looked at ever again without thinking of this accident. So I guess a little more time going by might help, hopefully there will be some more good news on Jakobsen in the meantime as well. And if he had received a very short ban which did not affect his next season people would have been even angrier with him, because they felt justice had absolutely not been served. Now people might still be angry and hate him, but maybe they will feel more that he did get a punishment.

About consistency and such: Obviously there is no real consistency in these rulings. Apart from there now being a stricter look on it, it's always so hard to judge the different aspects that lead to several outcomes. I suppose to have more consistency there would need to be a closer look at the basics of what racing is about, what it should be and how it is affected by all aspects.
And still there would be injustices, as there are with all punishments.

All that being said I'm okay with the length of this ban and still I think the organizers got away to easily.
 
9 months is certainly more than I expected. Don't really know how to feel about it. It's not like it's undeserved. It's the sort of sprinting many of us have complained about for years and our fear that it was only a matter of time until a crash like this will not only lead to a broken collarbone but could genuinely cost someone his life almost became reality. My issue is this glaring feeling that the UCI slaps this 9 month ban on Groenewegen, says "job done" and moves on, and that's 100% the wrong way to deal with it.

I kinda get that it's hard to punish every sprinter who closes a door once as harshly as Groenewegen, especially if it doesn't end in a crash. It would maybe be deserved but I understand that's not really a realistic ruling by an organization whose main interest is still the commercial success of its sport. But if everything else will stay at the status quo this Groenewegen ban won't change anything for the future. Bunch sprints haven't lead to such a horrific injury in years and chances are it will again take years for the next crash of this extent to happen (although it's inevitable it will eventually happen again at some point). In the meantime the best tactic will be to change nothing and keep sprinting like you've done for the past 10 years. What I want to see is some blame on the organizer as well and at least some ideas from the UCI how to make sprinting more safe for the long term. This ban feels like the UCI is just trying to put all the blame on one rider and make us forget this ever happened as fast as possible. And let's be real, they will probably succeed.
 
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Groenewegen deliberately catapult Jacobsen into the barriers. One of the most terribly assaults in sports history I ever saw. Jacobsen was close to death and has terribly injurys. He'll has to face a handicap for the rest of his life. And his sportcareer is compromised. Only 9 months suspension is just a joke. I just read DCQS and the insurance company will bring Groenewegen for court in Poland, and Jacobsen will do the same in the Netherlands. The financial damage amounts to millions of euro. Season 2020, 2021, maybe his career as a top sprinter. Missing out contracts. Medical care, Revalidation....
 
An article in Belgian newspaper HLN today.

Lefevere and Europ Assistance filed a claim in Poland while Jakobsen will probably start a court case in the Netherlands (so this is not yet sure).

Other interesting bits in this interview: Lefevere and Richard Plugge put safety in the peloton on the agenda after the incident in Poland and the crashes of Evenepoel and Kruijswijk. They want to start an independent monitoring body. UCI and ASO were involved in the discussion and afterwards other teams and parties (organizers, unions) joined as well. There are now 17 participants.

The aim is to have a concrete plan which is already in effect at the start of the new European cycling season. The points that are being discussed (amongst others):

- Clear rules of conduct for mass sprints with independent experts judging. The experts have to come from the peloton itself and preferably even from amongst the very dirtiest of former sprinters. They can judge which moves are dangerous and unacceptable since there are many gradations. As Lefevere put it: The best foresters have often been poachers first.

-
Education and training of the VAR.

- Safer barriers and safer kilometer arcs.

- Better indications of dangerous points like the safety totem already in use in some Belgian races. Possibly also (skiing) nets.

- Alarm signals at traffic islands since the auditory is at least as important in the peloton as the visual.
 
I'm definitely on team The punishment is right, but the organisers need to be held responsible too. I'll admit; I don't know much about race barriers, but they aren't supposed to practically shatter, are they? They aren't supposed to get airborne!
 
I'm fine with the punishment. Regardless of the fact he never could have predicted the severity of the incident, he knowingly took the risk and would have known that the very likely result was a crash at minimum.

I'm not fine with nothing happening to either the UCI or the TdP organisers. It's a downhill bunch sprint that has had issues in the past and has been complained about. At a very minimum I would expect any civil suit to succeed and, personally, I think that criminal charges should be brought against whoever was responsible for those barriers, both at the TdP and the UCI.
 
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I'm fine with the punishment. Regardless of the fact he never could have predicted the severity of the incident, he knowingly took the risk and would have known that the very likely result was a crash at minimum.

I'm not fine with nothing happening to either the UCI or the TdP organisers. It's a downhill bunch sprint that has had issues in the past and has been complained about. At a very minimum I would expect any civil suit to succeed and, personally, I think that criminal charges should be brought against whoever was responsible for those barriers, both at the TdP and the UCI.
I would say that, while the downhill finish shouldn't be there, it still makes Groenewegens decision worse that he decided to make this move at a much higher speed than in a normal bunch sprint.
 
I would say that, while the downhill finish shouldn't be there, it still makes Groenewegens decision worse that he decided to make this move at a much higher speed than in a normal bunch sprint.
I'm unsure what to think on that. The finish is stupid, but I'd guess when you get to it your brain isn't processing it any differently to any other sprint finish, but I don't know (only sprint finish I'd ever have a chance of winning would be uphill!). Other sprinters would need to say their piece on that (they may have and I've missed it?).
 
Regardless of the fact he never could have predicted the severity of the incident, he knowingly took the risk and would have known that the very likely result was a crash at minimum.
I don't agree. He took the risk knowing that the most likely (and intended) outcome was Jacobsen backing off. That is always the intention of intimidation/warning behaviours. The more extreme the intimidation (the smaller a gap that is left /the higher the speed), the higher the likelihood of it achieving its aim.

Of course, the other thing that makes intimidation a tempting mode of action is that if it is successful, nothing untoward results (as an immediate effect), and so it is more likely to be unremarked upon/unpunished. It is challenging this, rather than the occasional severe punishment after a catastrophe, that the UCI must face up to.
 
I don't agree. He took the risk knowing that the most likely (and intended) outcome was Jacobsen backing off. That is always the intention of intimidation/warning behaviours. The more extreme the intimidation (the smaller a gap that is left /the higher the speed), the higher the likelihood of it achieving its aim.

Of course, the other thing that makes intimidation a tempting mode of action is that if it is successful, nothing untoward results (as an immediate effect), and so it is more likely to be unremarked upon/unpunished. It is challenging this, rather than the occasional severe punishment after a catastrophe, that the UCI must face up to.
Jakobsen did back off, he stopped pedalling, but grabbing a handful of brake at those speeds when you’re centimetres from the barriers is incredibly risky. Dylan would surely have known that and left him with a split second to make a choice between two very risky manoeuvres, at extremely high speed. He also would have known it was against the rules and could well result in a disqualification, whether there was a crash or not. He made a choice, there were horrible consequences and he’s been punished accordingly.
 
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Very good article and subsequent discussion on this on The Inner Ring: essentially making the point that if the UCI really want this to be a starting point for "acting on any such incidents from a disciplinary point of view in a fair and consistent manner " they should publish the reasoned decision, the thinking on how they arrived at this as the length of ban that they decided upon.

Do they want outcome to be a factor in judgement of actions?
Did they consider Groenewegen's injuries and the off season as factors in determining the length of the ban?
Did they lessen the suspension from what it might otherwise have been because they considered the race organisation to be co-responsible?

We don't know, and riders and managers don't know and therefore don't know to what extent it is a precedent, unless they publish their thinking.

But this is the UCI, and transparency just isn't their thing.
 
If the precedent is BS, then they should simply update the rules and lay out clearly what the sanctions will be from that point on. And then use those sanctions for actions occurring after the revision.
Yes, we need updated, clear cut rules that then should be applied on a consistent basis for ations that occured after the revision.
Nulla poena sine lege, like my Latin teacher always used to say in highschool.
 
If the precedent is BS, then they should simply update the rules and lay out clearly what the sanctions will be from that point on. And then use those sanctions for actions occurring after the revision.
Pretty sure every country has laws against reckless endangerment leading to serious injuries. He's lucky he's getting a cyclists' punishment. In the Netherlands there have been criminal cases against football player causing a career ending injury.

In a similar vein, are there actually official rules against riding another rider off a cliff? Cause if there's not someone should really get on that.
 
Pretty sure every country has laws against reckless endangerment leading to serious injuries. He's lucky he's getting a cyclists' punishment. In the Netherlands there have been criminal cases against football player causing a career ending injury.

In a similar vein, are there actually official rules against riding another rider off a cliff? Cause if there's not someone should really get on that.
Relevance?

If you don't want to defend your statement that I quoted, we can trade red herrings instead.
 
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