Romain Bardet Discussion Thread

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What if he continues the stage and dies a few kms later? He still doesn't win...

Cycling is a dangerous sport, that's why it's important to make it as safe as possible.

Better safe than sorry.
Making it 'as safe as possible', means things like removing descents and probably just running races on closed circuits where crash barriers can be put up at every vulnerable point. But this would completely destroy the sport.

The key is not some vague ideal 'as safe as possible'; but rather to find the best balance between rider safety and the inherent risks within the sport. As gregrowlerson said, it's really not clear that automatically forcing people to quit, every time there is the possibility of concussion, is getting the right balance.
 
I think it was a good decision to not let him race with a concussion.

On to something else. Im interesting to see how he will go at Sunweb. They seem to have something special going on over there and Bardet is a pretty good one-day racer. Seeing him, Hirschi, Kragh and Benoot at some of the classics next year will be very fun to watch hopefully. And if Bardet could be able to be on the podium again, if he will try for GC again at the GTs or not.
 
Well, it's not safety before everything for me. But let's say the odds of crashing during a descent are like 1% or something. The chance of a concussion when you crashed and you are reaching to your head and you stumble and fall are bigger than 1%, it's like, no idea, let's say 50%. So that's in any case a big difference and a big enough reason for me to tell that guy: You are not going anywhere before we did not access you properly.

Now about Bardet: He did already show very good signs in this Tour and if he goes to Sunweb, although I don't like that team, like mentioned often enough, it will probably be a good thing after after all for him. He won't be the sole leader, he won't be on a French team, he will have a new way of training. The pressure should be lifted a bit and it could freshen his mind.
 
Reactions: Salvarani
Nobody disagrees that it was the right call to take him out of the race. The question is; should he have been taken out of the race right after the crash, even though it wasn't clear that he'd gotten a concussion until after the stage?
If it isnt clear, it is an impossible decision to make.

At some point there are things happening that we have no control over. We just have to hope it works out for the best, when those situations occurs. When it isnt clear on what to do.

If he couldnt get up, stumbled or couldnt ride his bike properly. They would have stopped him immediately, Im assuming.

It was just no way of knowing in this case though. When they assessed afterwards, they made the right call to take him out of the race.

As others have said in the thread, I dont think there is a way that you can completely get away from it. Unfortunately this sport as a lot of risks attached to it.
 
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He was stumbling.
But was it because he may have hit his head or because he might have been scraped up and hurt his muscles in his leg(s)? How could anyone have known in that moment? He was apparently coherent enough that he could continue and ride his bike. So then I say again, you have an impossible decision to make. You just have to hope you make the best decision. And even if you make the wrong one, hope it works out for the best. Which it did and he was taken out of the race after further assessment.

Having a protocol for every rider that falls may be a safe way, but then you might as well take every rider out of the race that crashes. Just to be safe.

I wrote that short sentence in my first post to not get into an argument. Started talking about something else. But here we are.
 
You could look at at the rider being assessed for concussion for 10 to 20 minutes in the medical van and then if they pass the test they rejoin the peleton.
When would you have cause or make the decision to take a rider to the van? How fast do you make the decision?

It wont be that easy to just rejoin the peloton. And 10-20 minutes in a race, depending on where you are, is a long time. It is not realistic and it wont work. You take him to the medical van, then the race is over for that rider. And that could be good in some cases, but you just dont know.
 
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The race doctor said that they did interview Bardet 20 minutes after he got back to the peloton, and that he wasn't showing signs of concussion at that point.

Concussion is tricky because symptoms might only appear hours or days after the incident, so just because he wasn't pulled out of the race immediately, it doesn't inherently mean that something was missed at the time (although I suspect it was in this case)
 
The race doctor said that they did interview Bardet 20 minutes after he got back to the peloton, and that he wasn't showing signs of concussion at that point.

Concussion is tricky because symptoms might only appear hours or days after the incident, so just because he wasn't pulled out of the race immediately, it doesn't inherently mean that something was missed at the time (although I suspect it was in this case)
That is about 15 minutes too late in a circumstance such as this.

Concussion screening in the middle of a race is not 100% precise, but it needs to be more proximal. There are questions asked and some quick medical/physical examinations to get a sense if someone is a bit shocked or has a concussion and to an extent, what grade of concussion. If he was all sorts of wobbly on his legs, had issues with his pupils and being responsive, then that would have been a big issue.

Could he have passed a more thorough screen? Sure, absolutely, it is not like he was knocked unconscious. However, at least more measures would have been taken to protect a rider's health. It need not be an immediate assessment in a van, but it was pretty clear that nothing happened until quite a bit later.
 
Firstly, I am far from a doctor.

This protocol in regards to cyclists with concussion, and just in regards to their safety in general, can be comparable a little to how we deal with covid, as in, that there is no right or wrong answer. Covid is about quantity of life vs. quality of life; well, that is how I see it mostly.

So with the concussion thing, what happens if a rider is in yellow, ahead by a few minutes, and in week three crashes hard on an alpine descent? He stands up, stumbles a little, but is able to get back on his bike. It is the final decisive stage in the general classification, and it seems as if he will be able to - if allowed to continue - finish the stage, retaining enough of his lead to secure Tour victory. But it looks like he very well 'could' be concussed, and the doctor is on hand to access.

The doctor makes a quick determination that he is 90% sure that he has concussion, and the rider is removed from the race. Later on, after more extensive tests, it is determined that no concussion is suffered. Everyone is left with one of the biggest what ifs ever.

So it is difficult to say if you should have a strict rule in this situation for all circumstances.

Yes, the safety of the cyclists life is important, but let's face it, if it was ALL important, then we wouldn't let these guys do the crazy things that they do on a bike in the first place. And so, the cyclists life is important, as is the quality of that life off the bike. But a MAJOR aspect of his (or her, in other cases) life is racing, and winning, especially if that race happened to be the overall victory of the Tour De France.

Because cycling is not like football, or basketball etc, I don't see how there is a right answer here.
It is more the screening protocol that needs to be strict and followed more closely. It may have been he would not have been pulled still, but they did not do a thorough check at the time. And it need not have take much more time.

Another analogy for you - what happens (or is supposed to happen now) if in boxing someone is ahead on points several rounds in, but then gets the stars knocked out and is punch drunk? Well, the match is over.
 
When would you have cause or make the decision to take a rider to the van? How fast do you make the decision?

It wont be that easy to just rejoin the peloton. And 10-20 minutes in a race, depending on where you are, is a long time. It is not realistic and it wont work. You take him to the medical van, then the race is over for that rider. And that could be good in some cases, but you just dont know.
The medical van takes you back to the peleton if you pass the concussion tests.
 
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The medical van takes you back to the peleton if you pass the concussion tests.
Something like that would have to be arranged, I don't know what the teams/riders would think though. Other sports have made the arrangements to avoid teams being penalised for concussion assessments - extra substitutes and the like, but you can't have a mid stage sub in a bike race.
 
Something like that would have to be arranged, I don't know what the teams/riders would think though. Other sports have made the arrangements to avoid teams being penalised for concussion assessments - extra substitutes and the like, but you can't have a mid stage sub in a bike race.
The concussion tests can be done in 15 to 20 minutes - It's a no-brainer solution - This concussion rule will only apply for stage races - Happens in a one day race and you are out.
 

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