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July 23, 2017
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  • Youme

    I don’t understand why he was on the pavement. Off the shoulder entirely, no exceptions. If it’s a malfunction, you drag it off the road otherwise barriers need to go up with warnings.

    • ebbe

      Or just keep in front of the peloton until there’s a side street, driveway, parking spot, run off area, outside of a hairpin, etc to pull on to. Then wait there. safely, until the peloton passes.

  • YF Yippy

    Sure the moto could have been better placed but you’d think pro riders should be able to avoid a little road furniture. There is a lot room if the teams aren’t spread across the road, lined up in trains fighting for position. Why do that? It’s a mountain finish. This would not have happened before radios and DS’s trying to run the race from their cars.

    • Johnny Hall

      Yep, the riders are *definitely* to blame for not being able to avoid a motorbike unexpectedly parked in the road, just around a corner, with several riders in front of them. They are professionals, they should have other-worldly skills of premonition and foresight. What are they being paid for? And they shouldn’t use the whole road, even though they can. Yep, clearly not the fault of the police motorcyclist.

      • Marty ikin

        your kidding , you know anything about racing , its a rolling road idiot , theres a bubble in front of em , the motor vehicles create a safe a road as possible , of course tey have to look where theyre going but thishappened so fast , the idiot moron police biker should not have added danger to the situation by being in the road

        • Marty ikin

          I hope the stupid copper suffers for this

        • yes he IS kidding dude!

        • Cliff Nichols

          I *think* Johnny may have been using a healthy dollop of sarcasm. Really, really sad about this tho’….needless and pretty much halving my Giro interest as a G fan. I don’t mind racing incidents costing opportunities….its part of the mystique and vagaries of pro cycling…but this? this is just a (should be) extraneous factor, ostensibly there for safety, coming into play and buggerating everything. Merde.

      • YF Yippy

        They took an unnecessary risk (probably on orders from the team car) and left no margin of safety. Then, they paid up for something that would otherwise have been easily avoided. There is no need, for Sunweb in particular, to be in a train pulling hard up the edge of the road at the base of a big climb with 15km to go. Poor tactical decision. See what Landa himself said about it.

        • Chris Valente

          Why shouldn’t they be pulling towards the front to put Dumolin in position for the climb? That’s the reason Movistar, BMC and Lotto are all on the front. And that’s why the entire Sky team was right next to them doing the exact same thing. You are right though about it being easily avoided – if the moto hadn’t stopped in the road.

          • YF Yippy

            All these teams are in trains as if leading into a sprint is the essentially the problem. Would better to be near the front but all the GCs are thinking the same and there isn’t room to do that. Something has to give – no margin for safety. It happened to be a slightly misplaced moto but it could have been spectators, a cow, anything. Movistar are keeping the pace high to make everyone work harder and then to launch Quintana. They are the only ones that need to be there. You can park Dumoulin near Quintana’s wheel or have him sit on Sky’s train and let a strong mtn team with 2 leaders close the gaps. 15km to go and up a big climb – it’s a long way to go still. That is a completely unnecessary move up the left edge. If they get to the front, what are they going to do? Help launch Quintana? Dumoulin to attack? Very little to be gained by it. On another note, Dumoulin climbed surprisingly well. Curious if he’s lightened up and if so, how might that affect his chrono. Will see soon enough.

    • Larry @CycleItalia

      I’ve watched various clips over and over and while the moto certainly should not have stopped there, a lot of folks have their chamois-all-in-a-bunch over what looks as much like “rider error” as anything. The “just around the corner” claims seem a bit overdone as the clips show a clear line-of-sight to the moto and more than a few ride past with no issues. I’m sorry the SKY boyz were the victims, I would prefer to see their Giro challenge fizzle out as it has the past few years rather than being able to blame it on others. This just makes the woulda/coulda/shoulda situation worse.

  • MG

    Wilco Kelderman’s front wheel appears to have come off and brought extra riders down with it.

    Also interesting: Orica Scott DS Matt White offering criticism of Movistar’s post-crash pace: “Unfortunately we feel that Movistar also made a mistake today. Given the scenario of the race, still a long way from the finish and no break to chase, it was possible for them to wait just for a couple of minutes given there were so many GC contenders on the deck. The strongest guy won today but the damage behind was significant.” http://www.greenedgecycling.com/news/motorbike-crash-hampers-yates-on-stage-9-of-giro-d-italia

  • jules

    In Rome now, watched a police car blow a give way sign forcing driver to slam brakes on. They seem to take priority

    • Michele

      Obviously haven’t been there long Jules. Give it another 5 mins – everyone does that.

      My fav Rome traffic moment: being escorted by a mini van from Leonardo da Vinci to hotel. We overtook a police car who was involved in a high speed pursuit.

      • jules

        Hmm starting to worry about hiring a car now!

        • mrp33p3rs

          It’s alright if you start driving North soon as you pick up the car

  • Cruz er

    We should just have whack-a-mole style traffic balustrades pop up in the road. Whoever survives the gauntlet wins the bike race.
    There has to be clear rules for the motos. I don’t blame the motos, I blame the UCI. This has been going on far too long and there has been no definitive action.
    How many riders must be seriously injured, robbed of big results and worse, even death! None of it seems to matter to the UCI…

  • Josh

    It’s sad knowing how people’s races can be affected by motorbikes. All of the hard training gone in a silly incident

  • Michele

    I sympathise with those who Giro’s hopes have now be ruined by this incident.

    However, I must also concede the peloton have had plenty of opportunities to put their foot down and make their voices heard about rider saftey.

    How many incidents do we need to have before change happens? How many more deaths do there need to be? How many riders need to have their lives completely destroyed before action is finally taken?

    The UCI have shown themselves to be very slow in reacting. Some would argue they haven’t acted at all.

    Rather than get on Twitter to vent their frustrations, why don’t the Giro’s peloton get together on the Rest Day and take a stand. Come out with a united voice.

    They have the power to do so. It’s just a matter of whether they truly have the resolve.

    • DaveRides

      Agree 100%.

      The riders need wake up and realise that nobody can care more about their safety than they do. If the most they do is send a few tweets or get the CPA to issue a mildly peeved press release, of course they shouldn’t be surprised when the UCI and race organisers respond with nothing heavier than tweets and press releases.

      I don’t know what they could do on a rest day that the race organiser and UCI couldn’t ignore, I would suggest a sit-down protest on the start line and a go-slow neutralised finish on the next road stage would be far more likely to focus some minds on the issue.

      But cycling is the most individual sport in the world, despite the riders being organised into teams. The CPA is as good as a chocolate teapot, so any attempt to organise a protest would be thwarted because everyone will be expecting that someone else would break ranks. Sports with a real team ethos and a strong players’ union have a better balance of power, and I’m 100% sure that Cricket Australia would much rather be negotiating with the CPA than the Australian Cricketers Association.

      • Michele

        Yep agree. Good post.

        Re: the Rest Day … I was trying to suggest the riders use it to determine what action to take on Wednesday perhaps (since Tuesday is an ITT I believe).

        I’d get a rider from each team to do a united presser and say that on the next Road Stage they’re going to do exactly what you’ve suggested.

        • 555

          Regarding the time losses- Maybe Quintana needs to pull over in the next road stage 2 metres before the finish line and let Thomas and Yates and other GC contenders / team leaders who lost time, roll across and regain just the time they lost.
          Or do the race organisers do like in motor racing, when there is a big crash, they go back to the standings of the last lap, in this case the previous day when the crash is not the riders fault such as in this case? Obviously has some flaws but…

    • George Darroch

      The CPA are not using their power, despite many injuries and numerous deaths. It’s awful.

      • DaveRides

        Are you suggesting that the CPA actually has some power?

        The riders need a real independent union like players in real team sports have. Please can someone steal this idea.

        • George Darroch

          They’re giving the impression that they actually represent riders and can negotiate on their behalf on matters of safety and conditions. Perhaps I’m confused (more than likely, many parts of the business are a charade).

          • DaveRides

            They represent some riders, but not in a very democratic manner. All pro riders get their winnings taxed to pay for the CPA, but membership is handled through national affiliates and not all nations have them, leading to taxation without representation.

            A sporting union’s ability to negotiate is only ever as strong as the other party’s belief that the union will carry out a threat which will be harmful. Until they get themselves organised and show some muscle, everyone else will carry on assuming that tweets and press releases are as hard they’ll play.

            • George Darroch

              That’s very informative, thanks.

    • KevinSOttawa

      Agree that what happened today was a real pisser. But, what would be the change(s)? If you want the big bucks, you need the advertising and good TV coverage. I should talk – this year both TSN and SportsNet took a pass, and we got zero TV coverage here.

    • ebbe

      Well, to be completely fair to the UCI: This season has seen some changes to the rules regarding (convoy / safety / jury) vehicles. One of those new rules (if I’m not mistaken) is that both riders and vehicles, if/when they have to stop, should always stop at the right hand side of the road. In this case, the problem was (in my opinion) that the police bike chose a wrong time to stop (when the peloton was still complete and at a high speed) and most of all a terrible spot to stop (right after a turn, on the road itself and NOT on a driveway or side street, and on the left hand side of the road). No matter how many new rules the UCI come up with, they could not have prevented this with rules only.

      What of course needs to happen goes beyond instating new rules. It’s a matter of people putting their heads together and coming up with ways to eliminate a significant portion of vehicles from (being close to riders in) the race. Some vehicles do indeed need to be there, but others may not be necessary, or not a certain stages in the race, or may not need to be near the riders at all, or there may actually need to be MORE motos, etc. That the kind of discussion I’m definitely not seeing Cookson take a lead in.

  • Daniel

    Shouldnt of been parked there and another angle may clarify things better like did it just come to a sudden complete stop, but the guys at the front arent exactly touching handlbars before they approach and there is no hand signals going on at all in the Sunweb train. I think the BMC rider should be asked what exactly he was doing because there is plenty of room between him and Movistar yet he just holds his line and gives everyone nowhere to go.

    • Bataviaan

      Well spotted. He’s not just holding his line, he’s actually moving towards the edge of the road, leaving the Sunweb riders no space to avoid the parked bike. Being in the front, surely he must have seen the parked motor cycle?

  • George Darroch

    Just imagine how bad this would have been had they had disc brakes. Flying knives everywhere.

    I’d like to see pro cycling become safer, and better control of motos and training of their drivers is still a large part of that. You put large metal machines that handle very differently among soft flesh and blood, and you create a dangerous environment.

  • HamishM

    Is there a better video available? It looks like they were just going straight ahead and had plenty of opportunity to see and avoid the parked motorcycle.

  • Danny D.

    Policeman did not choose the most fortunate spot to stop. It shouldn’t be problem on long straight road with good visibility, but when riders said it was behind curve…..

    • ebbe

      I’d say the biggest reason they didn’t see him was because the peloton was still complete. The guys on the first row can see ahead, the rest can only see the backs of the guys in front of them. Later on on the climb, the same thing happened several times, but without any issue because the peloton had broek up into lots of small groups

  • J Evans

    Even as someone who dislikes Sky – always have and always
    will as long as they’re sponsored by the Murdoch empire (not to mention their
    various drug issues after so much preaching) – I find some people’s glee (more
    so on other sites) at this event perplexing to say the least. Not being a fan
    of any particular team, the race isn’t ruined for me, but it is significantly
    less interesting with three big contenders gone. Hopefully, Dumoulin and Pinot
    can make it a contest, and Nibali could still come back.

    Inner Ring points out that the rule is that convoy vehicles
    should stop on the right, so riders wouldn’t expect a bike there. Plus it must
    be quite hard to see in a pack of riders (have read a variety of nonsense about
    the moto being off the road, Sky’s fault for being too far back, etc. – watch the
    video: the moto could have been on that fairly flat section of grass).

  • J Evans

    The bigger issue is that motorbike incidents keep happening – some of them much more serious than this.

    There has been no improvement (as with so many other things in cycling) and if there’s no improvement you change the person at the top.

    Cookson has to go. He’s either utterly ineffectual or simply uninterested in anything that isn’t cash-related.

  • Patrick Murphy

    Should the bike have there, obviously not but this could have so easily been a rider from the break wanting a wheel change. The riders are obviously sticking together on this to absolve any blame on those at the front with a clear view.

    • ebbe

      In that case, that rider would also be at fault. You always stop on the right hand side of the road, never the left hand side

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