Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

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mattsccm
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by mattsccm »

Methinks the above comment about the modern way of getting into either competitions or just "sporty" riding is very valid. Traditionally you joined aclub as a novice, usually as a youth or young adult. You rode under the loose supervision, albeit informal, of older more experienced riders. Yes you worked hard quite often but what is so wrong with that? Along the eay you picked up roup ridin skills and etiquete, some thin often missing today.
Not saying that this is the only issue but it is valid I believe.
Postboxer
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by Postboxer »

Not sure I buy it, surely a pro after one season of racing has done much more riding than the average club rider? How big did club rides used to be?

More cameras, on bike cameras, more channels, more live coverage on TV, more streaming coverage, streaming highlights, streaming news reports.

Maybe compare starting numbers and finishing numbers on grand tours over the years, though will not take into account illness, food poisoning outbreaks etc. Winning time and lanterne rouge time could also be compared, though this may be skewed by differing cut off time rules, it may give a picture of how strong the field was.
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by mattheus »

Postboxer wrote: 16 Apr 2021, 12:14am Not sure I buy it, surely a pro after one season of racing has done much more riding than the average club rider? How big did club rides used to be?
I think two different things were being discussed; the issue of riders lacking experience was mentioned in the context of very crashy local league amateur races.

(I'd agree that Pro-racing has a different set of issues and problems!)
Ontherivet77
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by Ontherivet77 »

It seems that the modern pro bike rider is allocated a bike that is 2 or more sizes too small for them in order for them to be aerodynamic when riding on the hoods. Looking at old skool riders such as Hinault they would ride on the drops more and with a flat back position and the bike set up didn't look that extreme. Whether this is a factor in more crashes I've no idea, but some modern riders look horribly overbalanced perched on ridiculously high saddles astride tiny bikes.
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Ride-sleep-repeat
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by Ride-sleep-repeat »

Ontherivet77 wrote: 4 May 2021, 9:39am It seems that the modern pro bike rider is allocated a bike that is 2 or more sizes too small for them in order for them to be aerodynamic when riding on the hoods. Looking at old skool riders such as Hinault they would ride on the drops more and with a flat back position and the bike set up didn't look that extreme. Whether this is a factor in more crashes I've no idea, but some modern riders look horribly overbalanced perched on ridiculously high saddles astride tiny bikes.
That is just the nature of a 'compact frame'.It's just how modern 'racers' are.I bought my first compact framed bike in 2006 and it looked tiny compared to the old 70s racers I had as a kid.I still ride the same size frame now and they still look small.
I doubt that pro's use wrongly sized bikes.The distances they cover would be too painful on a wrongly sized bike.Many have frames made to measure so I think they'll get it right :wink:
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by Ontherivet77 »

Top pros have always had made to measure bikes you can go back to the likes of Tom Simpson if you like. Old 70's racers are not really a good comparison if you are referring to the "sports bikes" we rode as kids. As for comfort I don't think that is much of a factor, it's all about speed and getting from a-b as fast as possible. If racing bikes were genuinely comfortable over massive distances then the touring bike as we know it probably wouldn't exist. I imagine the majority of the peloton are riding stock bikes tweaked for their personal use. It's not that the bikes are wrongly sized that wasn't really what I was saying but if the overall position means that the rider
is in an extreme position then that's not ideal for overall balance and handling. Look at Thomas's fall the other day it made no sense that he should lose control at that particular point.
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by drossall »

TrevA wrote: 15 Apr 2021, 9:20pmThere seem to be more crashes in lower category races 3rd and 4th category. This is perhaps to be expected, the more experienced riders become as they move through the category system, the better their riding skills become, simply from experience of riding in a large, fast moving group.
It was always thus. I only ever dabbled in road racing, as I demonstrated a stunning lack of ability. However, 3/Js always had a bad reputation for crashes. That was before category 4 existed; many 3rd cat races were also open to juniors. Both groups contained quite a few novices. I recall one crash on, if I remember rightly, the Pennypot Lane circuit at Harrogate. Happened in the first half mile, and long before the first corner or other hazard.
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TrevA
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by TrevA »

drossall wrote: 4 May 2021, 9:45pm
TrevA wrote: 15 Apr 2021, 9:20pmThere seem to be more crashes in lower category races 3rd and 4th category. This is perhaps to be expected, the more experienced riders become as they move through the category system, the better their riding skills become, simply from experience of riding in a large, fast moving group.
It was always thus. I only ever dabbled in road racing, as I demonstrated a stunning lack of ability. However, 3/Js always had a bad reputation for crashes. That was before category 4 existed; many 3rd cat races were also open to juniors. Both groups contained quite a few novices. I recall one crash on, if I remember rightly, the Pennypot Lane circuit at Harrogate. Happened in the first half mile, and long before the first corner or other hazard.
Not in my experience, at least not in the 1970’s and 80’s. I rode a lot of 3/J and 2/3 road races and there were hardly ever any crashes. If you were riding dangerously or even carelessly, then you would soon be put in your place by the older riders in the bunch. However, the situation had changed by the time my son started road racing in the mid-noughties. The rise of the non-club rider in road races had already begun and there were a number of crashes in 3/4 races, especially on closed circuits like Darley Moor. Thankfully, as a junior he soon got enough points to get his 2nd cat and then his 1st cat licence, and escaped the mayhem.

Obviously, YMMV.
Last edited by TrevA on 5 May 2021, 3:44pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by drossall »

There were claims that, if you rode badly, an unseen hand was likely to emerge from the bunch and push you into a hedge...

There was a story once of someone who went over to Belgium and thought that he was a good bike-handler. Until another unseen hand emerged from the bunch, grabbed his bars, and steered him round a cobbled corner. He was too terrified to look and see which rider had done it.

I remember riding a chain gang once. I wasn't good at those either. But a clubmate, on one corner, lent over slightly too far and ended up resting on my hip. We basically had to stay like that until the road straightened. That was unnerving.
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by mjr »

Ontherivet77 wrote: 4 May 2021, 5:40pm Look at Thomas's fall the other day it made no sense that he should lose control at that particular point.
He said his hands were numb and he lost his grip with one when trying to change gear. I don't think a different geometry frame would prevent a fall if you basically jackknife the bike like that.
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TrevA
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by TrevA »

drossall wrote: 5 May 2021, 8:38am There were claims that, if you rode badly, an unseen hand was likely to emerge from the bunch and push you into a hedge...

There was a story once of someone who went over to Belgium and thought that he was a good bike-handler. Until another unseen hand emerged from the bunch, grabbed his bars, and steered him round a cobbled corner. He was too terrified to look and see which rider had done it.
The story came from Peter Ward, who wrote the book “Cycle Racing - King of Sports”.
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rareposter
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by rareposter »

Within local races, the issue is not (as popularly supposed) 4th Cats, it's more when you get a huge spread of ability so Regional A races (open to 2nd, 3rd and 4th Cat) and National B (open to Elite, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Cat although in practice you get very few 3rd Cats in most of them).

A Regional A race has the potential to include a 2nd Cat who's only just dropped down from 1st the previous year and a 4th Cat who bought his/her bike and racing licence the previous week. It's the mix of ability that does it rather than "inexperience".

The comments above about winter club rides are very true - the acknowledged format was that races finished in about August, you did some hill climb stuff in September then you wrapped up the best bike and got the winter bike out and plugged away with the club for 4 months - maybe with a little bit of CX racing in winter. That was the "traditional" club approach that reinforced the importance and skills of group riding, building a fitness base etc.

Now, riders sit on a turbo trainer all winter, maybe with a trip to Majorca or Spain in early season but then they arrive back on the road/circuit scene in March/April having done zero group riding since August! Add in new club, new bike, new kit, keenness to impress and the early season races were often more prone to crashes due to people being a bit rusty than later season ones where everyone had regained the feel for it. I rarely started racing until about July!
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by mattheus »

rareposter wrote: 6 May 2021, 1:42pm A Regional A race has the potential to include a 2nd Cat who's only just dropped down from 1st the previous year and a 4th Cat who bought his/her bike and racing licence the previous week. It's the mix of ability that does it rather than "inexperience".
I have NO experience of racing in bunches larger than 6, so forgive my ignorance! But:

how does that manifest itself? Surely the faster riders can just ride away if they're sooo much better? Meanwhile, if they're riding within themselves waiting for the key moment, they should have more mental energy available to stay safe.

I think!
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by TrevA »

mattheus wrote: 6 May 2021, 3:16pm
rareposter wrote: 6 May 2021, 1:42pm A Regional A race has the potential to include a 2nd Cat who's only just dropped down from 1st the previous year and a 4th Cat who bought his/her bike and racing licence the previous week. It's the mix of ability that does it rather than "inexperience".
I have NO experience of racing in bunches larger than 6, so forgive my ignorance! But:

how does that manifest itself? Surely the faster riders can just ride away if they're sooo much better? Meanwhile, if they're riding within themselves waiting for the key moment, they should have more mental energy available to stay safe.

I think!
That’s not how road racing works. If you went blasting off at the start, then everyone would just sit on your wheel, being towed along. Remember, you use 30% less energy when sitting behind another rider. You really need a hill to sort out the wheat from the chaff, but even then it doesn’t always mean that a breakaway will stay away to the end. A bunch, sharing the work, can ride much faster than an individual or a small group, by sharing the pace making. So races on a flattish circuit will often end in a bunch sprint, where many of these crashes happen, as riders throw caution to the wind and try to secure a top 10 placing.

Experienced and more able riders know to stay within the first 10 riders in a field of sixty, to avoid crashes which often happen further back. This also means you’ve more chance of getting in any breaks that do happen.
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mattsccm
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Re: Why Are There So Many Crashes Now! In Road Racing ?

Post by mattsccm »

Rareposter above has it in many ways . Plus others. Even club runs with people who know and ride together have been dodgy this spring with minimal winter group riding.
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