Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Freewheeling => Racing => Topic started by: fd3 on July 14, 2017, 12:15:55 pm

Title: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: fd3 on July 14, 2017, 12:15:55 pm
http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/richie-porte-slams-tour-de-france-route-as-joke-of-a-course-341835
Quote
“Basically, every rider in that peloton was questioning the safety of that descent,”

Riders forced to ride dangerously ...
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: citoyen on July 14, 2017, 01:15:11 pm
Porte's problem was that he was trying to ride beyond his capabilities. No one forced him to do anything, he took excessive risks to keep up with more skilled descenders because he didn't want to lose the race.

Compare and contrast his response to tackling the same descent a few weeks earlier on the Dauphiné:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/porte-purrs-on-dauphines-mont-du-chat/

"I knew just to keep my cool and it wasn't at the point where I had to panic. We did a fast but safe descent."

Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: mattc on July 14, 2017, 01:45:52 pm
http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/richie-porte-slams-tour-de-france-route-as-joke-of-a-course-341835
Quote
“Basically, every rider in that peloton was questioning the safety of that descent,”

Riders forced to ride dangerously ...
I think pressured would be a more appropriate word than forced.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: citoyen on July 14, 2017, 02:12:28 pm
I think pressured would be a more appropriate word than forced.

It's a race. Of course there's pressure. And it's not the first time Porte has shown himself not so good at handling pressure.

In the post-race interviews after the opening stage time trial, Porte said that he'd gone conservatively because it wasn't worth taking too many risks and crashing out of the race. He should have applied the same philosophy to that descent, just as he did in the Dauphiné.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: T42 on July 14, 2017, 03:34:44 pm
Most remiss of Prudhomme to put that cliff there.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: fd3 on July 14, 2017, 04:58:53 pm
My thoughts exactly.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: asterix on July 14, 2017, 05:31:48 pm
Heck, they've got the roads closed, what more do they want?

Can remember touring in the Massif Central a longish while ago just before the Tour came along the same roads and were due to descend the Puy Mary.  They were resurfacing the road just for that, going like the clappers they were, like devils in hell. I had to scramble over heaps of smoking pitch and saltpetre to get past.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: mattc on July 14, 2017, 07:54:34 pm
There's two aspects to this thread:
1) Mr Porte's unfortunate crash and comments; if citoyen's posts are the whole story, then Porte's done himself no favours. He can't brag about his own risk assessment skills one week, then moan the next.

2) General course design issues; I'll ask this question:
Was it right to improve the safety of Formula 1 circuits in the last few decades (reducing deaths from at least 1-per-season, to less than 1-per-decade)?
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on July 14, 2017, 08:23:03 pm
Do you want the Tour de France to only be ridden on purpose-built circuits, rather than on public roads?
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: citoyen on July 14, 2017, 08:33:51 pm
I'm less worried about cases like the Mont du Chat descent, more concerned about incidents like the Peter Stetina crash at the Vuelta a Pais Vasco a couple of years ago, which was the result of failures by race organisers to remove road furniture or provide adequate warning of its presence, or at the very least protection against impact.

Richie Porte's crash was of his own making. I feel sorry for him, and I'm glad it wasn't worse, but I'm far from convinced that he is justified in blaming the course design.

I've heard it said that the problem is down to the fact that riders these days are racing down the descents, whereas in the past the descents were effectively neutralised. This is patent nonsense - as far back as 1974, it was Merckx pushing too hard on a descent that caused the crash that put Ocaña out of the race.

Then there's the famous Wim van Est ravine incident in 1951, which happened after he had lost time on the climb and was pushing hard on the descent to catch the race leaders.

Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: mattc on July 14, 2017, 08:37:41 pm
Do you want the Tour de France to only be ridden on purpose-built circuits, rather than on public roads?
No. What has THAT got to do with my post??

The analogy is whether course design should consider participant safety. [in F1 they build the course - generally - whilst the cycling Grand Tours are usually "assembled" from existing public tarmac sections. But the principal is very similar.]

#spelling-out-the-bleeding-obvious
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on July 14, 2017, 08:50:57 pm
F1 often used to be on street circuits, now rarely. Street circuits are generally less safe than purpose-built circuits. Monaco is the obvious example.

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.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: DuncanM on July 14, 2017, 08:56:28 pm
The analogy is whether course design should consider participant safety. [in F1 they build the course - generally - whilst the cycling Grand Tours are usually "assembled" from existing public tarmac sections. But the principal is very similar.]
The problem with considering rider safety for bike racing is that mountain passes tend to be relatively unsafe roads (in the sense that speeds are high and corners are often sharp with hazards either side should you get it wrong), so it would exclude much of the more interesting parts of the route of the grand tours. It would also exclude cobbled sections and other areas with risk inducing surfaces.
I think we've just turned the 3 grand tours into non-technical time trials, sprints on wide roads, and mountain top finishes (with only 1 major hill). And also completely ended the northern classic season.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: citoyen on July 14, 2017, 09:23:48 pm
Dario Cataldo contrived to fall off and break his wrist on a flat, straight road the other day. There are no guarantees.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: DuncanM on July 14, 2017, 09:59:02 pm
Dario Cataldo contrived to fall off and break his wrist on a flat, straight road the other day. There are no guarantees.
That was in the fight just before the feed zone, right?
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: mzjo on July 14, 2017, 11:42:00 pm
The analogy is whether course design should consider participant safety. [in F1 they build the course - generally - whilst the cycling Grand Tours are usually "assembled" from existing public tarmac sections. But the principal is very similar.]
The problem with considering rider safety for bike racing is that mountain passes tend to be relatively unsafe roads (in the sense that speeds are high and corners are often sharp with hazards either side should you get it wrong), so it would exclude much of the more interesting parts of the route of the grand tours. It would also exclude cobbled sections and other areas with risk inducing surfaces.
I think we've just turned the 3 grand tours into non-technical time trials, sprints on wide roads, and mountain top finishes (with only 1 major hill). And also completely ended the northern classic season.

I think the F1 analogy is not a good one. A certain (fairly large) reduction in mortalty rate has been also due to better (more driver safety conscious cockpit design). A much better analogy would be motorcycle racing where the actual GP circuits are designed or altered to avoid hasards in the run-off areas. Riders still queue up to ride the TT and Ulster road circuits which don't have the same conception and which see mortal accidents most years.
Do we want the french local authorities taking out all the walls and trees (and natural hasards) and putting in catch fencing to make the roads safer? Personally no, but then I don't race. (besides if it was like that we could have a spectacle of half the peloton regularly overcooking it and going off because there was no risk). - Or the run-offs would be full of camping-cars ;D
I am sure there is progress to be made with braking systems on carbon rims in the wet for example. Perhaps the UCI could restrict the type of wheels and tyres to be used on mountain stages (although teams and riders should be capable of making the appropriate choices themselves) in the interests of rider safety. Ultimately though it isn't the road only the rider overstepping his own limits that puts people down the road, the safety concern is when they take others out with them (ask mr. T)
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: andrew_s on July 15, 2017, 12:22:04 am
Can remember touring in the Massif Central a longish while ago just before the Tour came along the same roads and were due to descend the Puy Mary.  They were resurfacing the road just for that...
The Mont du Chat descent was also freshly resurfaced, or looked it, and I reckon that's a good part of the problem.
If a road is freshly resurfaced, the asphalt hasn't worn off the top of the stones, and it's fairly slippery in the wet (which it was). Hereabouts, newly resurfaced roads routinely get temporary slippery road signs.
Maybe the Tour should try to get any resurfacing done sooner.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: Mr Larrington on July 15, 2017, 12:29:42 am
F1 often used to be on street circuits, now rarely. Street circuits are generally less safe than purpose-built circuits. Monaco is the obvious example.

Though there is a trend for newer races to be moving back to street circuits; Singapore and Baku being the most recent examples.  The new owners of F1 are on record as wanting to put races in "destination" cities and the rumour that Silverstone will break off its contract early and the British GP will move to a street circuit in Docklands is gathering both speed and credibility.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: Karla on July 15, 2017, 05:29:40 am
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!
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: asterix on July 15, 2017, 07:38:07 am

Richie Porte descended the same route earlier this year, stge 6 of the Critérium du Dauphiné
  (http://www.letour.fr/PHOTOS/CDD/2017/600/CARTE.jpg)

Quote
Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang won a stage [6] of the Dauphiné for the first time as he outsprinted his three breakaway companions after trying to escape with 1km to go. It was a tight victory over Richie Porte who moves into the overall lead with an advantage of 39 seconds over Chris Froome ahead of a mountain stage to L'Alpe d'Huez.

Sadly for Richie:

Quote
Jakob Fuglsang of Astana became the first Dane to win the overall classification of the Critérium du Dauphiné as he dethroned race leader Richie Porte throughout the ten seconds bonus awarded to the winner of the conclusive stage. This is the third time in the past four editions that there is a change of leadership on the last day. It's been a thrilling finale again!
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: Karla on July 15, 2017, 09:18:28 am
Next time the Tour comes to Britain, could we send them along the Cuillin Ridge?  I'd love to see them all on trials bikes  :demon:
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: T42 on July 15, 2017, 09:42:57 am
Let them ride the same unprepared roads as we have to, potholes, gravel and all. It might shame local councils into remedying the effects of their blundering negligence.

And if you believe that I have a great used car here...
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: mattc on July 16, 2017, 08:19:12 am
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.
F1 has massively reduced deaths and serious injuries. It is almost entirely a test of car-handling ability. There ARE consequences to misjudgements - they generally lose positions, or finish their race beached in a gravel-trap.

Why do you think TdeF riders should break their pelvis/kneecap for your entertainment? [they earn a lot less than F1 drivers!]
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: Hot Flatus on July 16, 2017, 09:04:13 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.
 
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: TheLurker on July 16, 2017, 10:12:55 am
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. :)
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: asterix 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.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: mattc 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.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: fd3 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.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: citoyen 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.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: mattc 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
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: Mr Larrington 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:
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig 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.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: Samuel D 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.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: citoyen 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.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: Hot Flatus 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?
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: mattc 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!)
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: citoyen on July 17, 2017, 10:40:08 am
there are many aspects in common

Such as?
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: mattc 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.

Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: DuncanM 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!!!
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: mattc 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:
(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/LUDAXogGSA4/maxresdefault.jpg)

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!
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: DuncanM 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. :(
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: trekker12 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?



Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: Legs 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...
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: Karla 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.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: trekker12 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.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: Legs 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...
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: trekker12 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.

Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: mattc 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!
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: asterix 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? 
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: Legs 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?
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: fd3 on July 18, 2017, 08:39:26 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...
So Pro bike racers are akin to zero hour workers or factory workers in third world countries?  Trapped in the only job they can do and forced to take risks or lose the only job they can do? 
...
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: mattc on July 18, 2017, 09:00:29 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.

What did Dan Martin choose to do so badly?

He lost all hope of a stage win, and took a serious dent in his podium chances. He has serious back problems a week later - it's POSSIBLE that is permanent damage.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: fd3 on July 18, 2017, 09:38:30 am
mattc, can an event organiser prevent riders from being wiped out by other riders?  In an early stage Sky and AG2R went down going round an innocuous corner on the flat, they could easily have been injured by another cyclists riding too fast.
I don't see how ASO could realistically do anything to prevent riders being injured by other riders, unless they require body armour.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: LEE on July 18, 2017, 09:52:07 am
It doesn't matter how "safe" a route is.  Competitive riders will ride it to its limits.

If there were no corners at all, just a 45degree downward slope, then they'd ride it at 130km/hr.  Riders would complain that they should introduce some corners.

There was nothing more or less dangerous about the corner Porte crashed on than hundreds of other "Alpine" descents.  They are all bloody dangerous at the speeds they descend.

I've watched from behind the sofa (figuratively) when they descend in the wet.

They're on the limits.  It seems to me that most accidents happen in the peloton, on long straight roads.  That's what did for Froome last time. "Normal" roads in the wet.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: asterix on July 20, 2017, 07:47:55 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.

What did Dan Martin choose to do so badly?

He lost all hope of a stage win, and took a serious dent in his podium chances. He has serious back problems a week later - it's POSSIBLE that is permanent damage.

Shows Richie how to take it:

https://twitter.com/DanMartin86/status/884092563074035712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rte.ie%2Fsport%2Fcycling%2F2017%2F0709%2F888907-uran-takes-victory-as-martin-loses-vital-time-in-crash%2F (https://twitter.com/DanMartin86/status/884092563074035712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rte.ie%2Fsport%2Fcycling%2F2017%2F0709%2F888907-uran-takes-victory-as-martin-loses-vital-time-in-crash%2F)

 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: mattc on July 20, 2017, 12:35:44 pm
https://www.rte.ie/sport/cycling/2017/0709/888907-uran-takes-victory-as-martin-loses-vital-time-in-crash/

Porte, seen as one of the main contenders for the yellow jersey, misjudged a turn on the descent of the Mont du Chat - the last of seven categorised climbs on a brutal stage - taking out Martin and throwing both riders in the rock face at the side of the road.

"Richie lost it on one corner - it was so slippery, I guess the organisers got what they wanted," he said. "It was so slippery under the trees.

"I was very, very lucky to get away as lightly as I did."

[My bold.

There is also this amusing bit of reporting:]

It all came down to a rare sprint finish between general classification contenders, with Uran coming out on top despite being stuck in a single gear after collecting debris as he dodged the Porte crash.

[Amusing as the "debris" he collected was in fact Dan Martin's foot catching Uran's derailleur!]
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: Samuel D on July 20, 2017, 12:54:41 pm
That’s no way for an Irish broadcaster to refer to Dan!
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: citoyen on July 21, 2017, 01:59:04 pm
Interview about this year's route with Thierry Gouvenou, the man who designed it:
https://audioboom.com/posts/6124097-kilometre-0-the-route-master

He has some things to say on the subject of dangerous descents.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: Samuel D on July 21, 2017, 02:25:02 pm
The whole thing is reasonably interesting but the bit about descending starts at 12:08. He pretty much says what I said here (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=104039.msg2188689#msg2188689): that riders should learn not to take unjustifiable risks. I believe this will happen if racing the descents continues to happen.
Title: Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
Post by: citoyen on July 21, 2017, 02:32:15 pm
He pretty much says what I said here (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=104039.msg2188689#msg2188689)

And indeed what I said upthread: "No one forced him to do anything, he took excessive risks to keep up with more skilled descenders"

As someone who completed the Tour seven times, Gouvenou is fairly well qualified to make these kind of judgments. Certainly better qualified than anyone contributing to this thread.