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  • ebbe

    Oh man that crash! The stuff of nightmares…

    Annemiek is extremely tough though, so she’ll (hopefully) be OK! So far the latest news seems to suggest so anyway.

    • Dave

      Definitely up there with the worst cycling crashes I’ve seen, but search for “French gymnast” to see why she only wins the silver medal for worst injury from the opening weekend of the Olympics.

      • ebbe

        Yep, saw that one on TV yesterday. It looked horrible indeed and he’ll go through months of rehab on not much more then hope he can ever reach his level again. But honestly there was no reason to be *worried* for him. A snapped leg – however gruesome the image – won’t kill you. Smashing your head on a concrete “gutter wall” and then laying there still could, very well.

    • ebbe

      Update: Unconscious for a short while, rushed to hospital in shock, heavy concussion and 3 fractures in vertebrae. But now talking and OK considering everything.

  • James_Casper

    Speedy recovery (I hope) for Van Vleuten. Good to hear she’s now conscious. That was one nasty crash.

    I’m sure Brendan Gallagher will say the race was epic with that ‘scary descent’ and all.

  • Torontoflatlander

    That dangerous a descent has no place in racing. The only out you have is a steep gutter without any crash barriers.

    • Anto, NZ

      I disagree. They all reconned the course, they all knew how highly technical the descent was and in both races we saw the front bunch split because of conscious decisions to either take risks, or ride conservatively, on the descent.

      • Dave

        Agree completely, riding downhill is part of being a complete rider.

        We saw how crashing out of the 2014 Tour de France was a big wakeup call for Chris Froome. He put his hand up and accepted the responsibility for it, then went away and worked to develop his skills to become a more complete rider. He’s a far more steady and confident rider now, which in turn allows more of his energy to go into his racing rather than his survival skills.

        There are a fair few riders who will have some homework coming up in the off-season after these Olympics and a few other recent major races, among both the men and women.

        • Tinaabanks4

          <<s:u. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????:::::::!!bz178a:….,..

      • ebbe

        Yep.

        A couple of warning flags would have been nice (it’s the same corner where Geraint Thomas crashed out yesterday), but I agree: They all had plenty of time to recon the course and knew exactly what they were getting into. Nibali was quite likely taken down by Henao yesterday… But van Vleuten, who was actually riding the downhill very well until that point, took herself out. Seems to be a Dutch thing :-(

        • Dave

          There was indeed a warning arrow back from that corner with the tightening radius.

          I’m not so sure that Henao did take out Nibali, at least not with actual contact. There was daylight between them, along with a very quick reacting Majka.

          On the plus side for the organisers, the placement of the green mesh barrier on the right hand side was very good. If Porte had gone off like that on a descent in the Dolomites during the Giro (which wouldn’t have happened – see the point below) he wouldn’t have been found for weeks.

          I wonder whether the roads all being newly resurfaced and very smooth contributed to the crashes though, by way of risk compensation? They probably would have ridden more conservatively during a race contested in an area where bike races are a more normal occurrence and don’t warrant a full resurfacing job every time.

          The Dutch thing is to be expected. There’s only so much you can learn about climbing and descending by going up and down speed humps ;-)

          • ebbe

            Hey, we actually have bridges here too! Oh, but they’re governed by some guideline that they can’t be too steep :-S No joke

            Yep, I think you’re right, the new roads surely played a role. That new stretch of cobbles was also the worst I’ve seen in terms of dropped bottles, chains, flats, crashes, etc in years of watching the cobbled classics. But as you do as well, I still agree with Anto, NZ: They all had plenty of time to recon and knew what were getting into. She took the risk, did a stellar downhill, until the point where she lost (first) the back wheel and in trying to correct, went head first over the bars.

            • Dave

              We have disability discrimination standards for ramps here too. The ‘landings’ every ten metres can be a little bit of a challenge for novices if it’s a concrete ramp in wet weather!

              The cobbles didn’t look that bad, they were simply being ridden by lots of GC riders who don’t race on them normally. Again, a very good inclusion for an Olympic course to reward the complete rider.

              Perhaps if Porte had handled them better and not burnt lots of matches chasing back twice, he would have had more in the tank for the climbs and no need to overcook it on the descent. Or perhaps he was just uncomfortable as a result of doing a one day race without a swim first?

      • MMAster

        Exactly… You can see she made a mistake with her line going into the corner. She cut to the apex too soon upon the the entrance to the corner, (possibly not wanting to corner over the potentially greasy painted lines) Obviously a racing mistake, not the course being too dangerous…

      • MJ

        Sorry, I can’t agree. It was dangerous. Descending is part of racing, and is inherently dangerous, but it doesn’t need the added danger of concrete trenches running along the road. Using this argument you could say that a descent with sharp metal poles on the outside of the road would be ok, as the riders had chance to recon beforehand. This is the very reason why F1 tracks and the likes have run off areas, because accidents happen and it’s not a good enough reason to say “well, they had the opportunity of checking it out beforehand”. It was dangerous. There should have been hay bales, or some form of foam padding run all along that ditch to minimise the risk of serious injury caused by the ditch and concrete kerbing.

  • Dave

    Good to see the second chase group fail to catch the front group so Armitstead got nothing.

    All the question marks around her attitude towards doping are bad enough, but instead of being on her best behaviour she decided to add to them by taking a tow that Fabio Aru or Chris Froome would have been proud of.

  • Stuart

    Seems like it would have been great to watch but it seems that channel 7 in Aus didn’t show the race at all? Certainly not on the main channel.

    • Dave

      It was on 7mate, with a break during the flat section for what was quite a thrilling women’s Sevens match ending in a tie with the final try scored in time on.

      It’s all digital TV these days, all three of their channels are equally accessible. They have even been regularly showing text at the bottom of the screen saying which events are on the other channels.

      • Stuart

        I only recorded the main channel as there’s no actual guide to which sports are on which channel. Hopefully a torrent will appear sometime soon.

  • winkybiker

    Wow. I’m not happy to see anyone crash, but she took a terrible line into that corner. She should have been 2-3 metres further left, straightening out the curve and opening her sight-lines.

  • binotto

    Full marks to Emma Johansson for helping Van der Breggen get her head back into it after Annemiek’s crash.

    • noob_sauce

      I always compared Emma Johansson to GVA but in the way they always seem to end up second, but GVA did just win yesterday.

  • Robert Merkel

    My 2c on that descent – it needed hay bales along many of the concrete drains or something (though that may have been problematic if it rained too).

    The descent itself was fine, but the consequences of screwing it up were much more severe than the typical stuffup on an Alpine descent.

    Can’t wait to watch a replay of the race itself – bad luck for Mara Abbott but at least she’s still upright.

  • sps12321

    One of the most interesting races all year from either gender. What a great showcase for the sport and for women’s cycling in general. If this doesn’t help convince people it should be televised more nothing will.
    Glad Annemiek is doing better.

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