Tour de Pologne 2020

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McEwen making some good points:

I dont like the "riders has always done that" or "things that happen" attitude.

That you could improve safety is of course a discussion to be had, always, and UCI will surely look over that. Because they sure are no angels with some thing they do/dont do.

I dont think they could be blamed for what Groenewegen did though. That it happens often and that riders "do that", but not usually with that outcome, is like playing with fire. You will get burned sooner rather than later. I think there is a discussion to be had about that also. There is too many grey areas on what is "okay" when racing and what is not. Some crashes you cant avoid, this obviously one that could have been.

Organisers of course have a part to play when they create routes and finishes, but riders ultimately determine the speed and risks they are willing to take. And what risks you are willing to take should not involve being a danger to other riders. That is an offense and maybe the most severe you could make. You dont wanna be the one making it and seriously injuring someone. Hopefully a lot of riders will also think about this in the future and that this incident will be close to be mind, something to learn from.

There both need to be a change in the attitude from riders and how you race, and what measures in regard to safety measures that could be made by organisers.
 
Why can they not use inflatable finishing line? like they do at the flamme rouge? it seems like the structure is a scaffold structure? Also could they not use plastic crowd control barriers? or not have barriers at all and ban crowds from the final 250m of sprint finishes? then they could just use a tape or rope to designate the course?
Inflatable finish lines would be a much easier thing, definitely, but part of the issue I believe is that the structure needs to include various wiring etc. for the offiicial timing clock, the transponder recognition, and so on. Now, would it be possible to have that on an inflatable structure, or on a sturdier structure located within an inflatable barrier? Not sure. Could be a possibility.

I can't see banning crowds from the last 250m as being a realistic possibility, because of the need to marshal that. They'd need to have police on hand, an outright fan exclusion zone and so on, which would be very difficult to enforce and also absolutely kill the interest in the finale for flat stages as well as potentially create a crush when they open that zone to let people see the podium ceremony.

A couple of things they could do is create wider finish line structures, so that they are set back from the actual barriers, so that if a rider is turfed off course at the line like Jakobsen was, they would be dispatched into a sort of apron/hard shoulder type area no different from a 'normal' crash, which could still be dangerous but is part of the accepted risk of the sport, and far less dangerous than being directed head first into a metal structure at 80km/h. A necessary consequence of this would be that it would necessitate finding wider, safer finishes. The flip side is that it would then limit options for finishes in non-sprint stages, where this would be a non-issue, such as mountaintop finishes and time trials. Therefore perhaps the structure could be telescopic, enabling it to be widened and narrowed as safety demands.

In smaller races barriers vary as issues. The País Vasco incident was actually necessitated because of a LACK of barriers; this was the same finish as used in the Vuelta stage won by Igor Antón in 2011, but because then the barriers extended for the whole final kilometre, those poles had been set back from the course and did not create any concern, so were not identified as an issue by either the organisers or the UCI until they cleared the traffic for the race and realised that with their shorter stretch of barriers, they were now a hazard that required a last-minute solution. Again, a potential solution would be to have either two sections of barriers - one conventional set, set back from the road to hold fans back, and a second, softer or banana-style as described before, to mark the edges of the course, with again an 'apron'.

Or, alternatively, there could be paint on the ground. This could take two forms: one to allow an 'acceptable race area' with the outside to be used as a run-off (the F1 solution), or to have a set of designated lanes that a rider has to pick going into the sprint lanes in, say, the last 200m, and then stick to them (the XC ski solution). But both have their flaws. The F1 solution necessitates wider roads, which isn't necessarily a bad thing for spriints, but may necessitate a categorisation of what stages are designated 'sprint' stages to need to provide these, and then you get into the debate of what size group is a sprint that necessitates such a demarcation, because we've seen some fairly sizable sprints on stages designated high mountain when design is poor, or atop un-selective cllimbs. And of course, since the phasing out of gravel traps and grass run-off in favour of tarmac, F1 has largely lost the simple accident, but seen a big spike in controversial stewards' decisions over what constitutes giving places back, gaining advantage, evasive manoeuvres etc. to justify being in the run-off area. And the XC solution has the problem that a) it's harder to pick your lane at the speeds sprinters will be going at, b) it might just be moving the danger 200-250m back down the road as people fight over the choice of lane, or veer wildly to find an open lane if they're being forced into a lane another rider already has so they can't pass them.

Probably in all honesty, the best thing that can be done is to provide better barriering, and better enforcement of rules and punishment of offenders, both organisers, teams and riders. Have perhaps a penalty points system for this kind of infraction so that riders who have been deviating from their line can be benched even if they haven't caused any accidents because of situations like the Bouhanni/Matthews one, and punish the team with fines for failing to control their riders. And for race organisers, if teams raise concerns about the safety of designs that are felt to be legitimate, they get penalty points too, punishable by withdrawal of their races' status. Finishes like this are about the money, so hit them in the pockets to incentivise safer race arrangements.
 
[...]

If a rule about a straight line sprint is to be maintained, then it needs to be applied ridigly, so that no rider imagines for an instant that he will get away with it (just as rules about staying on the road surface need to be applied consistently and ruthlessly, and not come as a shock when they are applied). That means that straight approaches are necessary: it should be the UCI/national federation's responsibility to ensure that, enough of these right angles with 400m remaining (not an issue yesterday, but it often is).

[...]
I remember a discussion (I think it was in this forum) about temporarily painting lines on sprint finishes to make riders go straight.

General opinion as far as I recall was very negative about this.

But I suppose clarifying rules about what's allowed and not in bunch sprints would be a good idea. Cycling is already dangerous enough as it is.
 
Eurospork (UK at least) seem to have decided not to show today's stage. GCN had said ( I read here) that they wouldn't show any more TdP until they know how Jacobsen is, so I guess this is an extension of the same thing. Or maybe they don't trust "other cultural sensibilities", or commentators simply didn't what to have to mumble through the less exciting kilometres while avoiding the elephant in the room.
 
I dont like the "riders has always done that" or "things that happen" attitude.
When i was a kid, many cars didn't even have seatbelts for the backseats of cars. Airbags and ABS were things of the future. Most roads (non-highway) were 90km/u. You could ride 60km/u in city centers. You could (as in, were allowed to) ride with a lot more alcohol in your blood, than you can now.

But people have always been driving too fast. They've always been drinking too much. They've even started to use their phones now on top of that.

Just because something has always been the mindset, doesn't mean it's the correct mindset. Just because it's always been like that, doesn't mean it doesn't have to change. It doesn't mean people should not be held accountable when they break the rules and hurt someone else, just because they started to believe it was "normal". Progress is not merely an industrial thing, but also needs a mentality change.

Reading the hypocritical comments on Dutch social media and comments on sites like Wielerflits makes me want to puke. I hope all these people will have the same level of understanding when their child gets run over by someone who is sending a tweet on his/her phone instead of watching the road. Because you know, that person never wanted that to happen either, and everybody does it.
 
Eurospork (UK at least) seem to have decided not to show today's stage. GCN had said ( I read here) that they wouldn't show any more TdP until they know how Jacobsen is, so I guess this is an extension of the same thing. Or maybe they don't trust "other cultural sensibilities", or commentators simply didn't what to have to mumble through the less exciting kilometres while avoiding the elephant in the room.
The way I understood it they simply won't show the finale for yesterday's stage. Today's stage is still listed on the Player.
Also, why would they not show any more? They showed the entire race last year, even the Memorial Ride (though that wasn't commentated, at least in Denmark.)
 
Reactions: yaco
When i was a kid, many cars didn't even have seatbelts for the backseats of cars. Airbags and ABS were things of the future. Most roads (non-highway) were 90km/u. You could ride 60km/u in city centers. You could (as in, were allowed to) ride with a lot more alcohol in your blood, than you can now.

But people have always been driving too fast. They've always been drinking too much. They've even started to use their phones now on top of that.

Just because something has always been the mindset, doesn't mean it's the correct mindset. Just because it's always been like that, doesn't mean it doesn't have to change. It doesn't mean people should not be held accountable when they break the rules and hurt someone else, just because they started to believe it was "normal". Progress is not merely an industrial thing, but also needs a mentality change.

Reading the hypocritical comments on Dutch social media and comments on sites like Wielerflits makes me want to puke. I hope all these people will have the same level of understanding when their child gets run over by someone who is sending a tweet on his/her phone instead of watching the road. Because you know, that person never wanted that to happen either, and everybody does it.
Exactly.

We can create all these amazing solutions in theory, but the real change is when the mentality also changes.
 
Or simply the potential publicity of "fastest sprint ever".
they have had it for 10 years or so, and I can't remember any compaints. In contrary, also sprinters and teams were bragging about the speeds they achieved.

And I must admit: personally, for me it way always a stage to look out for, because it was unique. Not because of the speed, but just because it was different. Different finishes, whether uphill, downhill, flat, straight, twisty or cobbled, require different skills, and from my point of view, this is what makes watching sprints exciting. Of course, the circumstances need to be as safe as possible, but per se, I don't agree that there shouldn't be downhill sprints.
 
Exactly.

We can create all these amazing solutions in theory, but the real change is when the mentality also changes.
The mentality doesn't magically change by itself. People started using seatbelts because they were made mandatory and they didn't want to be fined. The rules already specify what you can and cannot do in a sprint, we just need adequate punishments so the sprinters' risk/reward assessment doesn't favour boxing in your rivals a little bit.
 
Looks like not only is Malecki refusing to wear the jersey, but also wanted it to be given to Deceuninck-Quickstep.

View: https://twitter.com/CCCProTeam/status/1291351329064071168


At least I hope it's just the second part that's not allowed; not the part about refusing to wear the jersey.
Seems that he has to wear the yellow jersey, even if he does not want to:

14:54
naszosie.pl

W koszulce lidera jedzie Kamil Małecki (CCC Team)

Kamil Małecki (CCC Team) wears the leader jersey
 
Reactions: RedheadDane
The mentality doesn't magically change by itself. People started using seatbelts because they were made mandatory and they didn't want to be fined. The rules already specify what you can and cannot do in a sprint, we just need adequate punishments so the sprinters' risk/reward assessment doesn't favour boxing in your rivals a little bit.
I dont think you understood the point that was made.
 
Under such circumstances the whole race doesn't make all that much sense anyway, nothing to prove by finishing it. Groenewegen will end up taking the lion share of the responsibility and blame, IMHO organizer and UCI must share the burden too.

P.S. As for public lynching, comments on for example Groenewegen Instagram, that is sh*t too.
 
Reactions: 42x16ss
Oh... come on... they can't force him to do that...
UCI rules about jerseys are pretty strict and I don’t think they allow for any leeway as they don’t take situations like this into account. There’s is probably a way to appeal to the commissaires, but their hands may be tied. UCI should make a statement saying it’s fine and they can’t can not wear it/pass it to QS.
 
Under such circumstances the whole race doesn't make all that much sense anyway, nothing to prove by finishing it.
Then they shouldn't have finished the race last year.
They shouldn't have finished the Giro back in 2011.
They shouldn't have finished the Tour back in 1995.
And many more cases.

UCI rules about jerseys are pretty strict and I don’t think they allow for any leeway as they don’t take situations like this into account. There’s is probably a way to appeal to the commissaires, but their hands may be tied. UCI should make a statement saying it’s fine and they can’t can not wear it/pass it to QS.
Yet Chris Froome was allowed to not wear in during stage 7 of the 2015 Tour after Tony Martin withdrew with an injury before the stage.
 
Or, alternatively, there could be paint on the ground. This could take two forms: one to allow an 'acceptable race area' with the outside to be used as a run-off (the F1 solution), or to have a set of designated lanes that a rider has to pick going into the sprint lanes in, say, the last 200m, and then stick to them (the XC ski solution). But both have their flaws. The F1 solution necessitates wider roads, which isn't necessarily a bad thing for spriints, but may necessitate a categorisation of what stages are designated 'sprint' stages to need to provide these, and then you get into the debate of what size group is a sprint that necessitates such a demarcation, because we've seen some fairly sizable sprints on stages designated high mountain when design is poor, or atop un-selective cllimbs. And of course, since the phasing out of gravel traps and grass run-off in favour of tarmac, F1 has largely lost the simple accident, but seen a big spike in controversial stewards' decisions over what constitutes giving places back, gaining advantage, evasive manoeuvres etc. to justify being in the run-off area. And the XC solution has the problem that a) it's harder to pick your lane at the speeds sprinters will be going at, b) it might just be moving the danger 200-250m back down the road as people fight over the choice of lane, or veer wildly to find an open lane if they're being forced into a lane another rider already has so they can't pass them.
I've heard "sprinting lanes like in athletics" for at least as far back as the days of Abdoujaparov - do you know if they've ever been trialed at any level on the road? Match sprinters are able to stay in the black-to-red lane when they need to so riders are clearly capable of holding much tighter lines than is usual in road sprints. But of course there are bound to be unintended consequences, like you say there'll be a scrap for places wherever you start the lanes and no doubt shenanigans among the lead-out riders.
 
Painting segregation lines for the finish would just mean the battle for them/position happens earlier in the finish surely? To win a sprint you have to deviate from your line and the rules allow that because physically you can't all fit on the road and you can't pass anyone without deviating around them anyway. The deviation rules really only trigger if you either cause a crash or prevent someone else from passing. This can happen, simply trying to get into the left-most or right-most lane against the barrier anyway.
I honestly think the rules are fine, the issue in Poland is the finish design and lack of fans behind/leaning on the barriers to prevent them moving/separating on impact, plus the fact the impact was in the very last 2 barriers before they split for the finish line and the barriers themselves not being the best design used in bike racing.
Lack of fans I think was a major factor in why this crash and not thousands of others was so bad. We've never had high speed 80kmh crashes into barriers without fans behind them before, so we have perhaps seen what happens when you remove hundreds of kilos of bodies from each barrier in the finish straight.
 
This whole debate is really interesting but could we keep this topic for what happens in the race and eventually for updates about FJ?
Don't want to trouble you guys but you might create a topic about new rules or something like that?
 
Reactions: Earns1985
I don't know why for the last 500 metres or so, they don't have lines 80cm away from the barriers - if the rider crosses the line they get put back to the field. Spectators cant interfere, coats can't get caught up in the handlebars, if a rider gets squeezed, they have a chance to avoid a crash. It's probably easier to keep the riders away from the barrier than to redesign them
 
Reactions: Red Rick
Seems that he has to wear the yellow jersey, even if he does not want to:

14:54
naszosie.pl

W koszulce lidera jedzie Kamil Małecki (CCC Team)

Kamil Małecki (CCC Team) wears the leader jersey
Surely Jacobsen and Sarreau are technically still in the race until they fail to start. Therefore unless he changes into it after signing on has closed, Malecki has no business wearing it even if he wanted to.
 
Reactions: Red Rick

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