Carr crash at Tirreno-Adriatico reignites safety concerns

The young Briton was lucky to avoid serious injury.

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Simon Carr (EF Education First-Nippo) was lucky to ride away with only superficial injuries after a horrible crash on stage 6 of Tirreno-Adriatico.

With around 60 km remaining in Monday’s stage, a teammate of Carr’s swerved at the last possible moment to avoid an unmarked traffic island, leaving the Briton to collide with two pieces of road furniture. The first collision saw Carr get airborne; the second, in mid air, threw him violently to the ground. The 22-year-old was quickly attended to by medical staff before eventually getting back on his bike. He managed to continue on and finish the stage.

“Thanks to everyone who’s asked after me having seen the crash on TV,” Carr wrote on Instagram later. “I’m a bit bruised on my right side and won’t be going for a good TT tomorrow as was my intention. But having seen the crash, I’m pleased to be back on my bike relatively OK.”

Carr’s crash was cause for consternation among many viewers who criticised race organisers and the UCI for a lack of appropriate protection on the traffic island. Normally the obstacle would have been padded, and/or policed by a traffic marshal who would warn riders of the upcoming danger.

Monday’s incident comes three months after the UCI introduced new safety measures to “improve safety conditions during road races”. Among the new measures were “the enhancement and modernisation of the specifications concerning obstacle protection elements used along the course”. The UCI’s new measures came in the wake of a series of serious safety incidents during the 2020 season, including Fabio Jakobsen’s devastating crash at the Tour of Poland and Max Schachmann’s collision with a private car on the Il Lombardia race route.

Carr’s crash is reminiscent of Yoann Offredo’s spectacular fall at the 2013 Paris-Roubaix, and Peter Stetina’s near-career-ending crash at the Tour of the Basque Country in 2015. In the latter incident the American collided with an unprotected pole in the roadway, severely injuring his leg. A similar incident befell Steven Kruijswijk at the 2016 Vuelta a España, leaving the Dutchman with a broken collarbone.

Carr is in his first WorldTour season with EF Education First-Nippo and has already shown some impressive signs. He was 11th at Strade Bianche and finished eighth on the mountain-top finish to stage 4 of Tirreno-Adriatico, just two days before his crash.

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