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July 22, 2017
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  • jules

    I feel terrible for Richie but a descent is only as dangerous as you make it. I realise pressure is high to stay in touch but do riders really weigh up the risk-reward?

    • Simon Bird

      True, although I’m sure there’s an element of peer pressure, so to speak, and if the guys around you are more confident or more open to taking the risk, it’s easy to go beyond your own comfort zone to not get dropped.

    • Alex

      While that’s mostly true, there are other factors that can make a descent more dangerous the last time you did it. This is debris or oil on the road for example. Where it comes in a race is also a factor. The ASO should make sure that these descents are properly cleaned before sending riders down it so late in the stage.

  • Thomas Linddal

    Descending is a skill just like ascending is. The winner of the tour should be the most complete rider… right?

    Ofcourse it sucks to crash, and the pressure to keep up with the other guys who might be willing to risk more than you yourself is comfortable with must be terrible. But when it comes down to it, its a bike race. You need to master all of the bike specific skills to have any shot at winning.

    • Daniel

      Completely agree, they have had years with cobbles, years with more summit finishes, years with more TT k’s. It shouldn’t be the same thing every year. Teams have had since October to prepare for this course, surely BMC wouldn’t have to look too far to find one of the best descenders of his era to coach/improve Porte in this area. Froome is the best example of how much a rider can improve in the weakest areas of his ability.

  • Stan Cox

    Remarkably measured article considering how bad the accident looked & how dodgy that descent looked at the Dauphine. Looking forward to seeing Richie back on the bike soon.

    • I was impressed by how positive he was on the phone. He’s certainly disappointed, and frustrated about being wheelchair-bound, but I get the sense he realises how lucky he was.

  • Tom Anderson

    I’m tired of the ASO not taking rider safety seriously. I assume they keep putting in these descent finales because the spectacle gets more people watching. I don’t want cyclists, skillfully or not, risking their lives for my entertainment. Riders are constantly complaining about safety, but nothing ever seems to change. So perhaps it’s up to us, the spectators, to hit the ASO where is hurts, and stop watching…

  • velocite

    From my armchair I support Porte’s opinion that mountain stages should finish at the top of a hill. I get that descending is a skill and mastery of it should bring rewards, but it’s undeniable that whatever your skill level, if the stakes are high you’ll edge closer to your limit and risk going over it. Good for what has been called ‘disaster tourism’ but not for the race.

    • DaveRides

      That’s called the KOM competition.

      Let Richie target that next year while the more complete riders keep on racing for the overall standings.

      • velocite

        I don’t know about that. Descents are an exciting part of racing, and if you’re weak at it you’ll pay by having to use more energy on the next climb, if there is one. The issue is having the finish at the end of a challenging descent.But.I’ve only taken this position since my fave fell off.

  • velocite

    I’d like to see diagrams of this accident. At what point did he touch his brakes? Why? Did the man in front of him brake? There was either gravel or ‘debris’ on the road or there was not: did anyone check, take a photo of it? Richie was probably over cautious in the prologue, but what was he doing on this descent?

    • DaveRides

      It’s nearly a week since the crash and I’ve yet to read any credible suggestion that there was debris on the road (there didn’t appear to be any in any of the live pictures on the night) and it looked like a pretty smooth surface.

      Watch the footage and you’ll see it’s all consistent with a nervous rider grabbing a fistful of rear brake and fishtailing out of control. It was a fairly routine curve that every other rider handled without incident, even when they came across a bunch of support vehicles blocking half the road.

      Watching Porte on the same descent in the Dauphine, he appeared to be quite tight and was fighting the bike. I wonder if the handling of the BMC frames (or perhaps his bike fit) is compromised?

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