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  • roddders

    So, has the enquiry found that being hit by the motorbike was the cause of death?

    • Shane Stokes

      The autopsy said it was not possible to tell if it was the motorbike or the crash, but that’s looking at the body only and not considering what others may have seen. The full investigation will likely come to a conclusion on that.

      • roddders

        Thanks Shane, so possibly a little early to be making changes until all the facts and details are known?
        The general cycling viewing public seems to jump to conclusions and demand changes before the full facts are known, whilst the accident was a tragedy making wholesale changes to the way races are run might not be sensible.

        • Dave

          Regardless of what caused the fatal injury, the fact remains that a moto was following too close and ran over a rider who had crashed. That’s not an accident, that’s preventable.

          Even if the rider’s crash was what caused the fatal injury, there are still two very good reasons to immediately take some interim steps (i.e. reducing the number of motos allowed to pass during races) to reduce the chance of moto-cyclist collisions, even before the full investigation is completed and recommends further changes:
          1. the next time around it could be the moto causing the fatal injury, not the first crash.
          2. there’s no excuse for motos and cars to be hitting cyclists during a race in the first place!

          • roddders

            Sorry but you don’t know that so aren’t in any position to be recommending changes. This hysteria sweeping through the uninformed masses is getting ridiculous.

            • Dave

              Exactly. Nobody knows anything except that there was a collision between a moto and a rider.

              That’s bloody serious by any measure, so worth taking temporary precautions to reduce the chance (i.e. reducing the number of moto/rider interactions) of it happening again, pending the recommendations of the ongoing full investigation. This is common practice for real transport safety boards (yes, I know it’s a stretch comparing the ATSB with the UCI) in the event of a serious incident, they can order a full fleet grounded until confirmed to be safe.

  • DMC

    Absolutely agree with Pierce re: bike size. Yes you need a 1000+ cc machine for the camera bikes but I don’t see why the marshals riding solo need bikes this big…

    • Legstrong

      Marshals need 1liter bikes for their torque not just sheer HP. They need to be able to accelerate to get out of the way of the peloton in an instant. Marshals use adventure bikes because they are versatile. They can ride on the cobbles, steep hills, and any rough terrain you can think of while still maintaining great visibility (they often ride standing up to see the peloton). Bikes like Honda Africa Twin have 1liter engines. They aren’t the same as 1liter engines you found on sport bikes, e.g. CBR1000. I used Honda bikes for the comparison. So yes, they need those bikes. Mopeds or scooters will not do all the above.

      Now, would they be okay with 600cc adventure bikes? I don’t know but the weight difference isn’t too big. 1liter bikes = 500lbs vs 600cc bikes = 480lbs. A lot of times, bigger engines come with bigger brakes, better suspension, etc. and that 20lb difference might not make a difference after all. Think Nissan GTR. They are heavy as hell but they are agile as hell.

  • lucprevost

    Hi Shane. Nice article. I kindly suggest that you are also missing the most important part of the security puzzle. If you read french, I recommand reading this exposé of the situation http://mbe.io/1MMkxU5 by @AntoinePlouvin . There is a new situation never discussed and it has to do with poverty… ;-)

    • Shane Stokes

      Thanks for that Luc – that certainly occurred to me too. Many races are run on a budget that is too small to have professionals throughout; in fact, even big races have volunteers. So it does complicate things greatly

      • lucprevost

        Hi Shane ! Talk about big races : Monuments, classics, etc. It is documented that 1.0, 1.1 races have seen the reliance on police forces diminished or 86’d completely. It is not only the fact that volunteers are now compulsory to organise RVV and similar races, it is the chaos created by motomen who have to constantly overcome the peloton to be signal road furnitures. This activity is new and dangerous. So even it there is less motos than before, a fact, there is more circulation… But I always say that the ultimate problem is the lack of a proper trade union for the pros. They are simply not organized and it shows. Their security is their business and waiting for UCI to organise it for them is like hoping that McDonald will raise the minimum wage.

        • Dave

          Totally agree on the lack of cohesion among the riders.

          A good way for the riders to take action would have been to race the Tour of Flanders, but skip all publicity appearances or media commitments for the race organiser and official broadcaster – out of respect for Antoine Demoitié of course, it’s no time to be celebrating. The trashing of the team presentation and podium presentation would have a massive impact on the race organiser’s bottom line (they might even get a call from a major sponsor’s CEO the next day) but would not have punished the fans.

          • lucprevost

            Yes, Dave. That would be part of the possible actions. But I also think that racers have to propose solutions to take these actions. Look how tennis player got everything they wanted and more. Professional negotiators are needed with past experience in similar fields. Ex racers are great to flesh out new intelligent security proposals but they also have proved how inefficient they are as union organizers for the last 100 years… ;-) Vélon is great but will not do the work of a Union.

            • Dave


              The problem with cyclists is that they are all individual athletes, despite those in the pro road scene being employed by a business referred to by the UCI as a ‘team.’

              A good coordinator would be someone who has experience of this sort of negotiation in a proper team sport. The best person I can think of is Tim May, the former Australian Test Cricketer and World Cup champion, founding President of the Australian Cricketers Association and founding Chief Executive of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association. He was instrumental in negotiating the system which has since led to a guaranteed share of all Australian cricket revenue for the players and the new agreement for the Australian women’s team which will see the top 15 Australian women’s players all earning six figure sums per year.

              • lucprevost

                Dave, it is nice to exchange with someone who cares about the racers but does not expects owners or organizers or official organisms (UCI, federations, etc.) to fix things for them because they will not !

                Cycling is an individual team sport, I agree. But I’m not sure I understand why being individual athletes is a problem… What about tennis ? Can not be more individual then that.

                I will check who Tim May is… I also believe that the creation of a real trade union will come from outside Europe impulsion. Specially if it includes track racing…


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