Thursday, May 1, 2014

Lessons Learned - Don't Crash

Two longish videos of crashes over the past week from domestic racing.  Crashes happen of course but wow.

The first was from yesterday's Tour of the Gila Stage Race.  Nothing unusual here but a pretty cool perspective from the director's vehicle. You have to feel sorry for all the guys who are caught behind the crash. Not sure if the field left them or if officials neutralized the race. I'm guessing the former. Anybody know?

The second video here is ridiculous. I understand what the moto official was doing here protecting the rider with his moto and... it actually worked.   HOWEVER, it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to predict the outcome of which was 20 or so adrenaline filled bike racers going over 30mph in the apex of a blind corner. Where were the other officials? A course marshal waving a flag? Anything besides making a rider get up after a crash and wave his hands to the peloton to slow down? Another official should have been on the scene (don't they have radios?) and stopped the race immediately.

So THAT happens... then the braniac in the lead vehicle parks the lead vehicle right in front of the crash..where the last collision was...until it has to take off and be part of the race again. WTF?  I was CRINGING while waiting until a rider hit the rear end of that vehicle. Luckily that never happened. The race seems to have kept on going while they stabilized a rider.

I'm not sure in what other sport would let stuff like this happen. In huge, nationally televised games, the officials will stop a game to make sure the player is ok, keeping that player on the field, stopping play, the game loosing it's rhythm, the players getting cold. Player safety is first.

MY first reaction would be to neutralize these races, especially for the criterium and ensure rider safety. Maybe I'm getting old and soft and don't throw caution to the wind as much as I used to. The free lap rule here is stupid. Just neutralize the entire race until it's 1)safe for everybody to race again and 2)safe to neutralize and remove the crash victim from the scene. That is all.





1 comment:

Adam said...

Agreed.. Multiple failures at Athens from both officials who should have communicated with each other sooner, and racers who blatantly ignored the call for neutralizing the race. We are humans before we are bike racers...