Stage 4 of the 2016 Baloise Belgium Tour was neutralized after a crash involving two race motos took down dozens of riders. Photo: JdM/PN/Cor Vos.
  • Michele

    Tom D hits the nail on the head.

    A friggen joke.

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  • CapeHorn

    So the big question I want to ask, is – What has changed in the last 12-18months?
    Previously, there seemed to be significantly less incidents involving race vehicles, and when there was something, like Hoogerland at Le Tour, there was a large amount of talk about it for weeks. but this year, it has seemed like every other week there is someone in hospital (or worse)?
    I doubt there has been a change (ie. lowering) of standards for drivers

    • Dave

      > So the big question I want to ask, is – What has changed in the last 12-18months?

      Nothing, because the riders have continued to wait for someone else to stand up on their behalf instead of doing it themselves.

      They can start tomorrow in two ways:
      1. The Tour of Belgium peloton withdrawing en masse immediately after the start if the organisers are stupid enough to not cancel the final stage themselves. Maybe a few lowly domestiques could be nominated to carry on so there’s an official result to the race and the prizemoney claimed so it could then be donated to Broeckx.
      2. The riders in the final stage of the Giro d’italia (the only other race of equal or higher ranking on the same day) making some lesser level of protest, such as walking their bikes across the line for the two intermediate sprints and riding the first lap of the Torino sprint circuit at low speed for a safety inspection.

      Yes, the second would be a touch unfair on RCS. However, it’s also the riders’ only option because the UCI won’t do anything without the sport’s more senior stakeholders (race promoters, broadcast rights holders, major sponsors like Shimano) applying pressure from above.

      The protests should carry on next weekend, when both the WorldTour and Women’s WorldTour have their next races.

      • ebbe

        Spot on Dave. The only hope for things to change with regards to motos is if and when race organizers “feel it”. Unlike with disc brakes (which race organizers obviously care relatively little about, so the UCI can step in there), the use of motos is pushed by race organizers. Mind you, motos are mostly there for good reason, but it can not be denied their deployment inevitably also involves risks. Risks which organizers are clearly not managing well.

        One thing riders in other races could do, without it being unfair towards anybody, is have a 15 minutes sit down at the start. We’ve seen this happen before (for dumber reasons), it does not hurt anybody (such as riders contending for intermediate sprint points), but does send out a clear signal across the full spectre. Seems like a legit cause for riders’ associations to promote globally. Finally a cause all pros can really “stick together” on.

        • Dave

          A start line sit down is too easily glossed over. There’s no live coverage of it!

          Interestingly for safety, tonight’s Giro stage could be quite wet. The live stream is not online yet, but the Monaco GP only an hour’s drive away from the Giro stage location has started behind the safety car due to the very wet conditions.

          • ebbe

            No live (direct) coverage indeed… Which I see as a good thing since an action before the start won’t impact the race. That would be unfair towards RCS, but mostly towards any riders still wanting to score today.

            But of course all broadcasters will show it on TV anyway, and social media will pick it up. If the teams/riders are smart, they’ll put smartphone movies on Twitter and Facebook. People are still, 25 years later, taking about this

            FYI: There has already been a big crash today, with Chaves involved but luckily able to continue. Lars Bak is out of the race

    • Saeba R.

      Yeah wondering that as well… it seems too coincidental now. I am pondering if it is possible that as this becomes a growing issue the parties change their behavior and somehow the situation worsens – not saying that is the case though – just a theory I am considering.

      Recently I am glad I never made it to pro level… hope Broeckx starts recovering soon…

  • bigdo

    For the 5 millionth time, somethin’s gotta be done about the moto’s man… just has to happen.

  • De Mac

    Yep, enough is enough now – people are being killed by these motos and others seriously injured – it is a weekly occurrence…. Watching the Giro, I saw a number of ‘issues’ where motos either got in the way, or took some very risky moves – all to get a photographer up the road…..

  • ebbe
  • campirecord

    Once again, until governing bodies go through a full selection of car drivers and moto drivers with proper training and licencing, nothing will get better. Major UCI events are still being populated with friends and buddies of organizers who improvise themselves with race experience. Moto drivers should at least have been cyclists and gone through UCI training. Today, in many places across the globe, we still see people drive at events without any kind of prior knowledge of what is a cyclist, what speed they can go at and how they corner. I know people who get in support caravans that have never ever been at high speed on a bike or even a national event.

  • Berne Shaw

    These horrible events are not necessary. But old ways, and GREED from those who will love their business and money is stopping this change.

    As a videographer, i know it is possible to have ELECTRONIC STABILIZED GIMBALS in a UCI multi purpose care with telephoto lens at a DISTANCE and get great coverage. Thus the argument specious that we must have them for great video or photos.

    And, my solution would stop most if not all these events. Remove all but two motorbikes. Remove all team cars and neutral cars. Have multipurpose UCI cars a few with medical, repair, bikes, and photo video capability and equip all racers with on board stabilized video cameras to neutralize weight. Have a SAFETY CHANNEL on race radio that warns riders and in case of accident, mechanical, but is OFF for strategy!

  • George Darroch

    Horrific. Saw some close calls during the Giro too. Even after all of these, the motos are still not maintaining the essential element – separation.


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