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by Shane Stokes
May 17, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Dumoulin dominates Giro time trial and takes Maglia Rosa; Peter Sagan wins stage 3 at the Amgen Tour of California; Van Vleuten triumphs in Durango-Durango event in the Basque Country; Quintana: ‘We lost more time than expected’; Thomas bounces back from stage 9 crash to nab second; Jungels stages recovery after Blockhaus disappointment; Aldag says it’s not certain yet that Cavendish will ride Tour de France; Van Garderen suffers further time loss; ASO and AEG agree on strategic partnership to develop cycling in Germany; California concussion incident raises questions, but what could have been done differently?; Diabetic rider Javier Megias chasing breakaway success at the Amgen Tour of California; Audio: Unnnamed rider suggests Movistar may have deliberately caused stage 9 crash; Video: The Maglia Rosa! 24 hours with Tom Dumoulin at the Giro d’Italia; Video: A near miss for Nairo Quintana; Video: Bob Jungels post-race interview from Stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia 2017; Video: Cyclist hit by bullet during bike ride; Video: Inside the Aqua Blue Sport team bus; Video: Dumoulin’s wayward elbows
It’s difficult, and perhaps meaningless, to assess blame over what happened in the moments that followed Toms Skujins’ high-speed descent crash at the bottom of Quimby Road on Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California.
Clearly struggling to maintain his balance, the Cannondale-Drapac rider — who crashed from the lead breakaway group with 22km remaining — attempted twice, to get back on his bike, ultimately re-mounting and riding for several kilometers before he was pulled from the race. It would be unfair to lay blame on a rider who has just suffered a brain injury, and that’s beside the point; getting back on the bike and continuing on after a crash is what bike racers do. For better or worse, it’s how they are hard wired.
The neutral support mechanic — Jasper Matson working for SRAM from the back of a motorcycle — helped Skujins back onto his bike, twice, even though to those watching on television, Skujins was clearly concussed.
Yet Matson, a neutral support veteran, was doing his job. A neutral support mechanic is not a trained medical provider. Assessing concussions, no matter how obvious it might seem, is not in the job description. Neutral service applies to bicycles, not bodies.
It’s also worth pointing out that during a few critical seconds of Skujins’ disorientation, Matson’s eyes were focused on his bike, not on what was happening with the rider.
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