Rider Safety - time to act?

Flying_Monkey

Toll Collector on the Road to Nowhere
There has been a lot of talk about riding in terrible weather conditions recently, but a serious incident in the finishing straight of today's stage of the Tour of the Basque Country has raised further questions. Sergio Pardilla (head injuries and possible punctured lung) Peter Stetina (knee and leg fractures) Nicolas Edet (ditto) and Adam Yates (hand and arm fractures) taken to hospital and several others with more minor injuries after hitting a series of metal poles in the road that were only marked with a traffic cone stuck on top. There seems to have been no serious consideration of how fast riders would be going at the finish and the impossibility of seeing and avoiding these poles.

Is it about time to think more seriously about rider safety in a range of areas, what needs to be done and how are things going to change?
 

Shaun

Founder
Moderator
Is this all that they did to the poles? No barriers around them? No marshals to ensure the riders don't get anywhere near them?

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It beggers belief how they could have thought that this would be enough to keep the riders safe and out of the way of the poles.
 
Location
Midlands
I can remember seeing that sort of thing protected by bales wrapped in red and white plastic bags on the TDF - Failure of the organisation at the local level ? - and I would of thought it would of been something that the teams would have highlighted on their recce
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
Pretty shabby treatment & ruining peoples seasons.
I'm no expert but these sound like they could even be career threatening
Pete Stetina (BMC) was diagnosed with fractures to his tibia, kneecap and four ribs.
Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural) suffered a head trauma, haemoptysis (coughing up blood), a fractured shoulder and a fractured left wrist.
 

oldroadman

Veteran
Location
Ubique
In most countries teams would be reaching for their lawyers. This is so bad, a simple barrier line would have done the job. The organisers may have planned that, but whoever constructed the finish area have a lot to answer for. Something for the UCI to consider - just hope their commissaire's report is damning.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
That is just outrageous. I don't like litigation culture but the injured riders really ought to be suing the organisers for that one!

The local authority should simply have taken out the posts before the race, and replaced them afterwards with something more easily removable for future races.
 

siadwell

Veteran
Location
Surrey

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
The local authority should simply have taken out the posts before the race, and replaced them afterwards with something more easily removable for future races.
Our council put bollards and a pedestrian refuge in the middle of the road at the start of the Cragg Vale climb on the run up to the local Tour de France stage but they did have the foresight to make them removable. The same road will be used in the opposite direction for stage 3 of the coming Tour de Yorkshire.

Somebody went along all of our local roads on the TdF route marking and numbering potholes which needed to be sorted out before the race.

Ok, it might not be affordable to fix every hole in every road used in every pro race, but at the very least, an experienced official should check every race route for monstrous dangers like those poles, and have the power to call off the race unless the dangers are dealt with properly. Balancing traffic cones on poles in finishing straights isn't quite the kind of solution required ...
 

oldroadman

Veteran
Location
Ubique
An interesting article. The UCI can't be responsible for everything that happens at every race. That's simply impossible. this was an appalling mistake by the organisers and they have to confront that. The finishes are built be barrier team who should be under supervision of race administration/organisation. So if the finger points at anyone, it's the organisation for failing to comply with the UCI regs, and whoever was in charge of the finish area build is simply directly responsible. As for having someone standing in front of the poles with a whistle, would you do it? I'm sure I would not ask anyone to stand there when a peloton comes round a bend flat out for the line. That would be almost suicidal. What should have happened was a barrier line (and padding if necessary) should have been installed rider side of the barriers. At least if someone crashed then it's barriers, not great lumps of metal screwed into the road!
 
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