Author Topic: Porte slams 2017 route safety  (Read 1647 times)

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2017, 10:14:58 am »
When I reached the top of one famous Alpine col I was amused to see that people drive to the top so they can cycle down it!  One pair had little more than shorts and a top and were setting off in a snow storm.  It was understandable because in the valley it was sunny and warm.



No, I don't particularly want race organisers to sanitise their routes. I want there to be tests of bike handling ability in races and they won't be tests if there are no consequences. Otherwise all you have are boring, wide, straight roads and gentle bends.

Get CTT to design the TdF route!
Nah, SUSTRANS.   That'll give the buggers something to complain about. :)

 ;D  That it would.
Sic transit and all that..

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2017, 03:22:09 pm »
Presumably you'd like all climbing removed from the Tour, Matt. After all, if you go up a mountain, you have to come down. Or perhaps you'd like them to be bussed down every descent to start again at the bottom, with a complicated system of recording times. That would make for great viewing.

If you dont like it, Matt, you should watch bowls instead.
Why do you say that Flatus? Has anyone suggested removing all the descents? Why do you and LWB use this silly, willy-waving exaggeration. What I have heard is the following:

- a number of riders objecting to the ONE tricksy descent*. Supported by some very serious injuries to those riders.
- many (including myself) suggesting that a few hay-bales on the prologue course would have mitigated the (totally man-made) hazrards that led to broken bones and numerous retirements from the race.

Meanwhile, on planet YACF, LWAB thinks that purpose-built F1-style circuits are being proposed, another has commented on the loss of the entire Spring Classics season, and you're suggesting taking out all the mountains!


*I'm totally on the fence about removing that descent. But the point is that if it's an outlier in terms of rider safety, it has to be worth looking at. Unless you subscribe to the view that riders should man-up and entertain us, and their safety is of no concern. Easy to say for an armchair gladiator.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

fd3

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2017, 04:16:37 pm »
Once you open Pandora's box...

The prologue was slippy, riders knew they had a choice between losing time or taking risks, some chose to risk it and won, some chose to risk it and crashed out.  Maybe they should wear body armour bmx style and accept a weight penalty for it?

On the way down a slippery descent Porte misjudged hits line, went off into the grass and crashed.  He could have gone slower had he wanted to, yes he would have lost time to Bardot and Froome who are better descenders.  We didn't hear Porte complaining before the stage and Pinot hates downhills but we have not heard him complaining.

I think it's Thomas who had a cause to complain when he went off the side of a cliff last year, something to catch him would have been nice, but then you can't do that all the way down all the hills and a small gate to catch one rider is an obstacle to make another rider crash.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2017, 08:19:50 pm »
Meanwhile, on planet YACF, LWAB thinks that purpose-built F1-style circuits are being proposed

You're the one who brought F1 into the discussion. Like, duh! F1 is safe because it is multi-lap racing on closed circuits. It's the only way to control all the variables. A more accurate comparison with the Tour in motorsport would be an A-to-B race on open roads such as the Paris-Dakar rally – which has loads of fatalities, of both participants and spectators. (It's also organised by ASO, funnily enough.)

Quote
But the point is that if it's an outlier in terms of rider safety, it has to be worth looking at.

I note the "if" in that sentence. I remain to be convinced that the descent in question was especially dangerous.

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2017, 08:54:07 am »
Meanwhile, on planet YACF, LWAB thinks that purpose-built F1-style circuits are being proposed

You're the one who brought F1 into the discussion. Like, duh! F1 is safe because it is multi-lap racing on closed circuits. It's the only way to control all the variables.
Bringing F1 into the discussion != proposing F1-style circuits. Like, duh!

You say it's safe? Well, they had several deaths every year back-in-the-day. They also killed lots of spectators on closed circuits.

Quote
It's the only way to control all the variables.
Why do you think ALL the variables need to be controlled? This shows quite a poor understanding of safety* in the real world. F1 slashed its death toll by controlling SOME of the variables.

It is still a dangerous sport - look at the text on the tickets. But that doesn't mean just shrugging and ignoring the issue; They should be prepared to die for our entertainment - even when we don't pay to watch them!


*I'm pretty sure that LWAB has worked in civil engineering, so he really should have a grasp of stuff like the dreaded Risk Assesments. But why let that stand in the way of some macho chest-beating?  ;D
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Fear the BEAR!
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2017, 08:59:02 am »
One reason for multi-lap races on short closed circuits is that it's much, much easier to make the spectators pay to get in :demon:
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2017, 09:11:55 am »
I've broken more bones in bike crashes than most folk here. I know the effects of misjudgements during descents. I am an engineer and understand and apply risk assessment. How many TdF cyclists have died or had life-changing injuries during difficult descents? Certainly nowhere near as many as drivers in F1 races.

Part of being a good racing cyclist is knowing how fast to go round difficult corners. I want descents that require TdF cyclists to put the brakes on, if they want to stay on the blacktop. Otherwise, set them all up on Computrainers to see who puts out the highest wattage. It'd certainly be safer.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2017, 09:40:03 am »
Road racing should take place on roads. If it’s a road, it’s fair play. I don’t believe one road is inherently more dangerous than another. I have descended many hills and traversed many wet roundabouts without falling off. At an appropriate speed, most roads are safe enough.

I think that teams and riders should take more responsibility for crashing, and I think that will soon be a major front of modernisation/professionalisation of the sport. Currently a lot of riders crash out while taking a huge risk to save some small or even trivial amount of time – e.g. Valverde in the Tour’s first time trial. Then they sit out uselessly for a race/month/season while still earning their salary (rightfully so). This makes little sense for the riders, teams, and sponsors. With the increasing rationalisation of the sport will come an awareness that losing the occasional battle to win the war makes more sense for all parties. It might be less exciting to watch, but it’s the future. Among the GC guys, Quintana already practices something like this, often bottling out of dangerous situations and losing some time because of it. It’s smart.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2017, 10:23:36 am »
Bringing F1 into the discussion != proposing F1-style circuits. Like, duh!

Then you have to admit there's no point of comparison between F1 and bike racing on open roads.

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2017, 10:25:34 am »
Presumably you'd like all climbing removed from the Tour, Matt. After all, if you go up a mountain, you have to come down. Or perhaps you'd like them to be bussed down every descent to start again at the bottom, with a complicated system of recording times. That would make for great viewing.

If you dont like it, Matt, you should watch bowls instead.
Why do you say that Flatus? Has anyone suggested removing all the descents? Why do you and LWB use this silly, willy-waving exaggeration. What I have heard is the following:

- a number of riders objecting to the ONE tricksy descent*. Supported by some very serious injuries to those riders.
- many (including myself) suggesting that a few hay-bales on the prologue course would have mitigated the (totally man-made) hazrards that led to broken bones and numerous retirements from the race.

Meanwhile, on planet YACF, LWAB thinks that purpose-built F1-style circuits are being proposed, another has commented on the loss of the entire Spring Classics season, and you're suggesting taking out all the mountains!


*I'm totally on the fence about removing that descent. But the point is that if it's an outlier in terms of rider safety, it has to be worth looking at. Unless you subscribe to the view that riders should man-up and entertain us, and their safety is of no concern. Easy to say for an armchair gladiator.

You are missing a key point. The route is decided months in advance. Plenty of opportunity for learning a key descent. That is what the most professional of these professional bike riders would do.

Plus they have a choice how fast to go and how many risks they take. They do have brakes you know.

What next? Remove the sprints?

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2017, 10:36:18 am »
Bringing F1 into the discussion != proposing F1-style circuits.

Then you have to admit there's no point of comparison between F1 and bike racing on open roads.
They can be compared, because there are many aspects in common - as well as many differences. That is how comparisons work.

That is separate from suggesting that I have proposed F1-style circuits; which I did not do.

The idea of a comparison also leads into sports teams looking at other sports as inspirations for possible improvements. Different sports - sports that are not the same as cycling. But have some things in common. Is this making sense?


(This really is very simple - I can't believe you are struggling with understanding it!)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2017, 10:40:08 am »
there are many aspects in common

Such as?

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2017, 10:46:29 am »
there are many aspects in common

Such as?
People, rubber, helmets, tarmac, accidents, speed-based competition, brakes, money, deaths ... I could go on...

But I doubt this is worthwhile. I think if we've descended to that level, this ain't likely to be a productive exchange of ideas, n'est-ce pas? It's an internet debate - if you want to persistently play the "it's not the same!" card, I can't stop you.

Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #38 on: July 17, 2017, 12:08:20 pm »
Bales on a couple of dangerous corners on the opening TT makes sense to me. You've created a hazard, you then try to mitigate the risks. Obviously, there would be 1 rider who hit the bale while on 2 wheels and could legitimately claim that it caused his crash. :)
Protecting riders on long descents is far more difficult - it's not 1 or 2 key corners but hundreds of the things! Ultimately, given the organisers have got the surface sorted, the danger happens when a rider makes a mistake. That descent might be tricky, but it's not like the Arenburg forest in the wet when you're thundering over the cobbles and praying. The route in Paris Roubaix is deliberately chosen to increase the danger.

Regarding F1, my understanding is that the most significant improvement in driver safety is the change in the construction of the cars. They still drive Monaco, they still drive into each other and have huge shunts at very high speed. But nowadays, the cars don't immediately burst into flames, and the drivers have a pretty good chance of getting out rather than being pinned in their car. Remember - in the really bad old days of F1, drivers wouldn't wear their seatbelts because they thought it safer (in the event of a crash) to be thrown out of the car than be stuck in it!!!

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #39 on: July 17, 2017, 12:11:28 pm »
You are missing a key point. The route is decided months in advance. Plenty of opportunity for learning a key descent. That is what the most professional of these professional bike riders would do.

Plus they have a choice how fast to go and how many risks they take. They do have brakes you know.

What next? Remove the sprints?
What do you propose next? This sort of thing:


Should be fine; they'll have months to recce and choose equipment.  :thumbsup:

(I'd post the Col I rode over from Italy into France, but the piccies aren't so clear :( )

I'm not sure your point about learning the descents holds water - riders will just get down them faster (and possibly thus have bigger crashes when/if they do come off). Wasn't Porte in the minority of riders who had already raced down that same descent a few weeks back? In Moto GP they often crash on a corner they have ridden a hundred times!
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #40 on: July 17, 2017, 12:25:53 pm »
I'm not sure your point about learning the descents holds water - riders will just get down them faster (and possibly thus have bigger crashes when/if they do come off). Wasn't Porte in the minority of riders who had already raced down that same descent a few weeks back? In Moto GP they often crash on a corner they have ridden a hundred times!
Porte rode that descent in the Dauphine and had also ridden it twice in the team recce.
I think your statement about MotoGP just emphasises that if you race on 2 wheels, there will be crashes and people will get hurt. :(

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #41 on: July 17, 2017, 01:20:32 pm »
Motorsport consists of far more than just F1 and MotoGP or TT racing.

To all those who partake and I'm included in that list we are all aware of the risks we take. In a fifteen year amateur career in the co-drivers seat of a rally car I've had at least six crashes that put us out of the event and many other minor incidents that would go straight to insurance if it were the real world. I've also witnessed the aftermath of a crash that killed a fellow competitor and don't wish to see that again but I've been lucky and walked away from my crashes with only the occasional bruise.

However, it says it on the ticket and it says it on all the documents as well as on the back of my license. 'Motorsport is dangerous'. Quite frankly if it wasn't I'm not sure I would even bother with it. That doesn't mean I have a death wish but with risk taking comes adrenaline and also the knowledge that it isn't for everyone. You compensate for the risks and seats with full harnesses, roll cages, helmets and most recently HANS devices have saved more lives than any of us can even estimate but it doesn't eliminate them altogether.

I've also been on the organising committee of rallies and safety is item 1 on the agenda. Rescue crews, medics and recovery vehicles are on standby at the start of a stage and at various points along the course. not just for the competitors but also for fans who may unfortunately get involved - it shouldn't happen but it does. You can account for some incidents but you can't account for them all and we always see something new at every event.

The point of all that?

Well riders entering a bike race know they are taking a risk. Descending a mountain at 70kmh on a bicycle comes with risk. A sudden flat, a damp patch of road, melting tarmac on a hot day all bring risks. Add the racers instinct and it will happen. It's why many of us don't partake. Surely Richie Porte knows all of this. He was unlucky. He was racing and it wasn't his day. The best riders in the world crash, so do the best drivers/riders in motorsport. On a mountain road there is no run off and his beef is with the organisers but you either only ever finish a stage at the top of the one mountain you use that day (which would be really really boring) or you have descending.

The most impressive thing I saw that day was how quick the medics were to get to Porte. With the race splintered as it was, to get a car through all that noise and bike traffic was remarkable. I assume the first medics were on motorbikes but it's not easy getting one of those through all that traffic and chaos that is a mountain stage on the TDF.

Wasn't this all brought up by one of the Schleck brothers some years ago?



Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2017, 02:02:57 pm »
...Well riders entering a bike race know they are taking a risk. Descending a mountain at 70kmh on a bicycle comes with risk. A sudden flat, a damp patch of road, melting tarmac on a hot day all bring risks. Add the racers instinct and it will happen. It's why many of us don't partake. Surely Richie Porte knows all of this. He was unlucky. He was racing and it wasn't his day. The best riders in the world crash, so do the best drivers/riders in motorsport. ...

Disagree, strongly.  The reason I'm not a professional cyclist is nothing to do with the risk of crashing, or with my lack of skill in going downhill.  The same goes for every non-professional cyclist I know...

Karla

  • car(e) free
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2017, 02:05:50 pm »
I'm pretty sure he's talking about competitive cycling in general, not just at pro level.
Someone on here once gave me a pompino for free

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2017, 02:19:36 pm »
In the same way I opened by talking about amateur motorsport and not Formula 1.

Whatever it is you do on a bike Legs, I'm sure you carry out your own internal risk assessment and consider if it's worth it to you and I'm even more sure the answer to yourself is of course it is worth it.

This applies to pros, amateur club racers, TT riders, Audaxers, sportive riders, ultra event riders, MTBers, BMXers and equally anyone who just wants to get somewhere.

It was particularly applicable to competitive forms of cycling owing to the OP and Richie Porte's comments.
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2017, 02:56:31 pm »
But you're neglecting the fact that these riders don't 'enter' this bike race - they are paid to ride bikes in races of their sponsors' and team managers' choosing.  In many cases, they are racing because it's one of the only things they're qualified to do...

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2017, 03:04:33 pm »
But they chose it as a career. I chose motorsport as a hobby. I might have turned it into something more but it's always been a hobby. I rarely choose which events to enter. We enter a championship and select events from that. I never question the safety of the route itself. I ensure the safety and management of the event is in place and are competent. The route is up to them. In a 300km rally there might be one dodgy corner. We do a reconnasance and decide how fast we think we can go at competitive speed. it's our risk to take.

My point is that it really doesn't matter where the race is located there is a risk to take and it's down to the competitor to assess that risk and consider if it's worth it to them.

The mountain in question was used less than a month before the tour started and yet now there has been a crash it's being questioned if it was a suitable route to use yet no-one thought this a month ago and they accepted that risk then. it's very unusual for the TDF to use a completely uncharted mountain that no-one has ever ridden a bike over even in practice or a race.

Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #47 on: July 18, 2017, 12:19:34 am »
But you're neglecting the fact that these riders don't 'enter' this bike race - they are paid to ride bikes in races of their sponsors' and team managers' choosing.  In many cases, they are racing because it's one of the only things they're qualified to do...
Yes exactly. These arent amateurs, or gentlemen racers on an exotic adventure (or dentists on Pinarellos at L'Etape ...)

I know the big boys are paid millions to take these - *relatively* small - risks. But there are jobs and livelihoods on the line for  the 2nd String riders. If they lose time, they may lose their jobs - lose adhesion and they may .... get injured and lose their jobs.

Some choice!
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #48 on: July 18, 2017, 06:12:16 am »
But you're neglecting the fact that these riders don't 'enter' this bike race - they are paid to ride bikes in races of their sponsors' and team managers' choosing.  In many cases, they are racing because it's one of the only things they're qualified to do...

They can choose how fast they go down a descent.  And as mentioned above, it was a descent he had made just a few weeks before.

On what little evidence there is, it looks as if he just took a bad line on a road whose edges were clearly irregular.  Other riders were not going that close so why did he?  Concentration blink? 
Sic transit and all that..

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #49 on: July 18, 2017, 08:14:50 am »
Probability of crashing isn't just a function of speed, you know?  You don't have to be taking undue risks to crash, or riding beyond the reasonable limits of your control - sometimes crashes just happen, especially when there are other riders around.  You wouldn't say that Dan Martin's crash on the Mont du Chat was his fault because he was riding too fast, would you?  AFAIK, none of the footage of the Porte crash shows what caused his 'bad line' - what's to say it wasn't a reaction to another rider's positioning on the road?