Antoine Demoitié : 1990-2016 – http://wp.me/p1Wg03-fYd
A young racer was killed after he was involved in a crash. According to reports he survived the bike crash but was run over by a media motorcycle. It cannot be emphasized enough how ridiculously senseless the loss of a 25 year-old young man is because a motorcycle carrying a TV camera was too close to the cyclists to avoid running a kid over after the crash.
It’s not just Antoine. According to a linked article;
In 2015, the list of riders injured by race motos included Tinkoff riders Peter Sagan and Sergio Paulinho, both at the Vuelta a España; Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) at Clásica San Sebastián; and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) at the Tour de France. At the 2015 Ronde van Vlaanderen, Shimano neutral service cars took out both Jesse Sergent (Trek) and Sébastien Chavanel (FDJ).
The women’s peloton is not immune. Marianne Vos, the most decorated woman to ever pin on a race number, suffered a broken collarbone during the 2012 Valkenburg Hills Classic, after an incident with a race moto. A month earlier, Emma Pooley, an Olympic medalist and world time trial champion, was knocked off her bike by a race moto at the women’s Flèche Wallonne.
And who can forget Johnny Hoogerland getting knocked into a barbed wire fence by a support vehicle?
It’s time for cycling to enter this century in terms of race coverage because most of these accidents are entirely unnecessary – and coverage can be made better in the process. Here’s how:
- Take a note from NASCAR… Mount cameras on each bike. Most teams are struggling to make weight on the bikes anyway by adding lead. A small battery powered camera could easily be mounted on the head tube or under the handlebars.
- Run cable cameras, similar to those used in NFL stadiums, along the entire course (granted this is no small feat but if it saves lives – and it would – it’s worth the effort). This would make peloton coverage better because cameras could be moved to where the action is. Now, I’m not saying this solution would be easy – it won’t but done correctly the capabilities for great coverage would be stellar. This way all you need is the lead motorcycle(s) to clear the way.
This still doesn’t deal with the pesky team cars (maybe we go back to the olden days of fixing flats? Sure beats dying) but it’s a good start.
I love cycling. I love cars. I love motorcycles… All three zooming around together in a confined space sucks and I’m tired of seeing my favorite cyclists taken out by vehicles.
It’s time to fix this. Open up in the comments with your ideas.