Author Topic: Porte slams 2017 route safety  (Read 4995 times)

fd3

Porte slams 2017 route safety
« 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 ...

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #1 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."


mattc

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Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #2 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.
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 #3 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.

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 03:34:44 pm »
Most remiss of Prudhomme to put that cliff there.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

fd3

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 04:58:53 pm »
My thoughts exactly.

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #6 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.
Sic transit and all that..

mattc

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Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #7 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)?
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

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #8 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?
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #9 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.


mattc

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Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #10 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
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

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #11 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.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #12 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.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #13 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.

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #14 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?

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #15 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)

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #16 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.

Mr Larrington

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Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #17 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.
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Karla

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Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #18 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!

Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2017, 07:38:07 am »

Richie Porte descended the same route earlier this year, stge 6 of the Critérium du Dauphiné
 

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!
Sic transit and all that..

Karla

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Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #20 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:

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #21 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...
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
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Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #22 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!]
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 #23 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.
 

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Re: Porte slams 2017 route safety
« Reply #24 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. :)
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