Why does Ernest ride?

A few years ago an American guy by the name of Ernest Gagnon tipped the scales at nearly 259kg – that’s over four Alberto Contadors or three Andre Greipels.

By his own admission, Ernest was in a bad way. Depressed and pretty much embarrassed to leave the house, his condition had led to worsening diabetes, he was losing the circulation to his legs and, best case, was staring down the barrel of some pretty major surgery. Then Ernest re-discovered cycling, and specifically cyclocross. As you can see, he’s still a pretty big unit. But he’s on the right path and he’s turning his life around one ride at a time. Good bloody work, Ernest. We salute you.

Ernest Gagnon

http://www.npr.org/2012/10/09/162586325/instead-of-surgery-man-pedals-off-the-pounds

 

Australian cycling performance of the year?

Regular contributor and follower of Carbon Addiction, Dennis, from Brisbane has brought to our attention surely one of the most remarkable Aussie cycling performances of 2014, completed recently in the Rapha Rising Three Ranges Challenge, on Strava.

Rapha Rising

The challenge, which many of you folks were no doubt part of, was to climb 8,800m in just nine days. A tough assignment for most amateur riders with jobs to hold down, but not ridiculously so if you have the time given it’s less than 1,000m a day.

Whereas many of these types of challenges are won by obscurely-named riders in far away lands, this one was won by a chap who we don’t know personally (but would sure love to meet) called James who hails from a small town near Lismore in northern NSW and has spent the last week and half of his life riding up and down a place called Koonorigan Hill, not too far from where he lives.

What makes James’s efforts truly extraordinary isn’t so much that he won the challenge, but how he did it.

James recorded 11 rides to in the 9-day challenge window and in that time scaled a mind-bending 67,332 metres. In other words he completed the required challenge more than seven times over.

Even better, despite the fact James was already safely ensconced in the global top two, he completed the entire challenge once again in a single ride on the final day for good measure last Sunday. Forget Everesting (8,848m) – in a shade over 13 hours on the bike James rode 227km and climbed a staggering 12,254 metres. That’s right, in a single ride. Oh, and did I mention the day before that he also rode 159km and climbed 8,266m? And two days before that he rode 169km with another 8,611m of climbing?

What a ride!

Now we’re assuming here that James is a pretty determined kind of guy who wasn’t going to let anyone – including second place getter, Hayto b, from the Nagano Prefecture in Japan – beat him in this challenge. And to his considerable credit, the Japanese rider didn’t get within 3,000m of the Aussie in the end.

What did James receive for his incredible efforts? As far as we can tell he unlocked the ability to purchase a limited edition Rapha Rising T-shirt.

But before we end – and here’s the best bit of all – there’s something else you need to know about James.  He’s a Category C5 paracyclist.

Chapeau to you James. You’re an absolute bloody legend and an inspiration to us all. You must be sore.

Rapha t-shirt

What do you get for climbing nearly 70,000m in 9 days? Yep, a t-shirt.

Classic Cycling Quotes #109

An entertaining exchange over this morning’s post-ride coffee.

Rider 1: “Seriously, cycling on mornings like this is better than sex.”

Rider 2: “Hmmm, depends who you’re having sex with.”

Why does Colin Ride?

“…having started to ride again three years ago at the age of 59 after a hiatus of 30 years, it’s feeling 20 odd or less years young again that has got me on to a good carbon road bike, into lycra, club jersey and lightly obeying the Velominati. Boys ride bikes and I like being a boy (at least on the inside). But what comes after MAMIL? O(ld)AMIL? S(senior)MIL? G(eriatric)MIL? Or ‘just get off the road and stop being a bloody nuisance’?”

Colin emailed Carbon Addiction to share with us why he rides. How about you – why do you ride?

IMG_2892 - Version 2

The who, what & why of QLD’s cycling safety trials

The following article was actually slated to appear in the upcoming issue of Bicycling Australia. But as sometimes happens, there were too many articles and not enough pages. It’s a fair bit longer than the usual posts here, but if you’ve ever tried to get a handle on exactly what is happening in the Sunshine State right now, well, reading this summary of events might be a reasonable place to start. There are links to the actual Government report at the bottom too. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes I’m a Queenslander.

It may be beautiful one day and perfect the next. But when it came to cyclists Queensland’s lawmakers realised they were no more immune to tragedy than the rest of the nation. Rather than tuck in and let others face the breeze, in early 2013 the Sunshine State moved to the front of the Parliamentary peloton to do something about it. April 7 of this year saw the first fruits of their labour as a 24-month trial of new laws and penalties began that has the rest of Australia watching.

Riding in a maroon slipstream

Well, well. Who’d have thought? Queensland, the state so often maligned as our nation’s banjo-playing heartland, would be the one to show others the way in the struggle to make our roads safer for all roads users – not just those in V8 utes and b-doubles.

Like the rest of Australia, Queensland’s cycling community has experienced its share of heartache and on-road animosity in the past decade. In the last year alone several of Australia’s highest profile cycling incidents have occurred north of the Tweed. These include the tragic deaths of Richard Pollett, 25, Michelle Smeaton, 31, Mardi Bartlett, 21 and Les Karayan, 40, as well as multiple close passing incidents such as that involving Craig Cowled, 38, who was captured in graphic video (and harrowing audio) being struck by a 4WD whilst commuting in Brisbane in July 2013 – footage that made it difficult for police, politicians and media to ignore. The pressure for something to be done became inescapable for the Newman Government and, fair play, that’s exactly what happened under the watchful eye of the Minister for Roads, Scott Emerson.

But what has Queensland actually done? How have they done it? And perhaps most importantly, what might the implications be for the rest of Australia?

On 7 June 2013, the Legislative Assembly in Queensland agreed to a motion that a Parliamentary Committee look into ways to improve the interaction between cyclists and other road users. Less than six months later the result was a 202-page document formally known as “Report No. 39 – Inquiry into Cycling Issues,” released under the more palatable title of “A new direction for cycling in Queensland.”

QLD Cycling Report

Led by Committee Chairman Howard Hobbs MP, Member for Warrego in the southwestern corner of Queensland, 106 formal submissions were received from individuals, bicycle user groups, local councils, the RACQ, Amy Gillett Foundation and other interest groups. Somewhat surprisingly, while Cycling Queensland was involved in the process few – if any – submissions are listed as coming from a registered cycling club.

Over the ensuing six-month period the Parliamentary Committee conducted forums in communities throughout Queensland, examined a significant amount of evidence from formal submissions and witnesses, and reviewed large volumes of research data sourced from Australia and overseas to establish its relevance for road users in the Sunshine State. Ultimately the process culminated in 68 specific recommendations which were presented back to State Parliament in November 2013. Significantly there were just two official dissentions registered by Desley Scott MP on behalf of the State Opposition (pertaining to Recommendations 16 and 59) suggesting a bipartisan appreciation of the gravity of the issues at play.

Now bureaucracy being bureaucracy not all of the recommendations will be adopted. In fact, whilst Minister Emerson’s official response at the end of May suggested 28 would be fully supported, with partial support for a further 22, by early June only two had been forged into legislation as part of a two-year trial that began on 7 April 2014. Much to the frustration of several stakeholders many suggestions with genuine merit will never see the light of day. But nevertheless a line has been drawn and real-world Australian learnings are being gathered right now for all to dissect; if nothing else surely a quantum leap forward in a conversation that is frequently besieged by rampant hypothesising and self-serving generalisations in social media, rather than facts.

The recommendation that generated the most immediate action, and therefore attention, was undoubtedly that relating to the introduction of trial laws applying a Mandatory Overtaking Distance, or MOD. Effectively this sees the adoption of the Amy Gillett Foundation’s ‘A Metre Matters’ guidelines; a significant feather in the cap of the tireless Victorian-based organisation.

Within just hours of the Parliamentary Report’s release last November, Minister for Roads Scott Emerson threw his full support behind the recommendation that was launched to the Queensland public under the marketing banner ‘Stay wider of the rider’.

QLD helmet and passing distance trial

“I will take the next few months to consider the full report but I will be supporting Recommendation 8, or the so called one­ metre rule,” said Emerson back in November. “This will mean that motorists must maintain a minimum distance of one metre when passing a cyclist in a 60kph or less zone, and 1.5 metres when travelling above 60. This rule was heavily supported by the cycling community and I’m prepared to conduct a two­year trial to test its practical implementation.”

Virtually immediately the MOD trial drew widespread approval from the Australian cycling community. According to Tracey Gaudry, UCI Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer of the Amy Gillett Foundation which actually drafted the amendments to the Queensland Road Rules that have since been implemented in the trial, “The minimum overtaking distance legislation trial in Queensland is a significant step forward in terms of safety for bike riders. What’s important to understand is that a road rule already existed – it is only being improved and clarified with a focus on everyone’s safety and mobility.”

Gaudry has also been heartened by the steps that led to the adoption of the trial laws. “It was, and remains, a challenging topic to address, continuing to attract a lot of misinformed comment by the mainstream media,” she says. “We were genuinely surprised and encouraged at just how thorough the Committee was in covering their Terms of Reference. The process that led to this ground-breaking development was very thorough and exhaustive; we were involved throughout. The Committee should be applauded for the way they investigated the issues at hand.”

Scott Emerson’s initial response to the report wasn’t confined to the trial passing laws, mind you. In what some suggest was little more than a tit-for-tat arrangement to appease voting motorists, the Minister added, “I’ll also support Recommendation 31 – bringing fines for cyclists into line with those imposed on motorists. For example, currently the fine for entering a level crossing with a train approaching is $110 for cyclists and $330 for motorists.”

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It’s worth noting in the period immediately following the introduction of the trial laws in April, Emerson’s Department made considerable noise as to how many cyclists had been fined under the new system. Whilst the motives for doing this were questioned by some, what cannot be denied is that it generated column inches and media airtime for the new laws; surely a good thing for all cyclists in the State. Two months into the trials, anecdotal evidence from regular riders and even the RACQ was suggesting a positive change as a result of the MOD laws. However more recently Ben Wilson from Bicycling Queensland has hinted otherwise, saying from the perspective of many cyclists the new laws were yet to make any real difference. When asked why he suggested it lay in enforcement: “It’s proving a challenge for Queensland Police,” he told The Courier Mail on July 4. Wilson’s view is backed up by several Brisbane lawyers who have publicly (and Police figures anonymously) suggested the laws may struggle to hold up in court should they be challenged by errant motorists.

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One of the more controversial recommendations not to be adopted in Queensland concerns the relaxing of Mandatory Helmet Laws, something always guaranteed to create division whichever way the Minister decided to go. The Committee was clear in its opinion that the benefits of such laws are still at best inconclusive and were worthy of repealing as part of the trial under Recommendation 15 to “remove the need for helmets in 60kph and less speed zones and on bike paths.” Mr Emerson, wasn’t convinced, however, and the legal requirement remains for cyclists to wear a lid at all times.

“I’ve put a lot of thought into this issue since it was first raised six months ago and I’m yet to be convinced of its merit,” Emerson said on release of the report. “Personally I’m a big believer in the benefits of helmets and I believe the evidence shows helmets reduce the risk of serious injury.”

While drawing pockets of criticism, Emerson’s stance on helmets was widely applauded including support from the RACQ and Amy Gillett Foundation, both of whom reiterated the primary reason the Committee was established in the first place was that of safety, not participation.

“If the stated role of the Committee was about improving safety of cyclists, we really couldn’t see why they would introduce something that takes away a safety feature,” says Steve Spalding, a spokesman for the RACQ. “We couldn’t see a safety-related reason to change that.”

Tracey Gaudry agrees. “While the minimum overtaking distance legislation trial is a step forward, we believe a relaxation of long-standing helmet laws would be a counter-productive step to creating a safer environment for cycling.”

Other areas explored by the Committee include the merit of introducing strict liability laws such as those which apply to cyclists under the age of 16 in the Netherlands (the Committee wasn’t convinced), the provision for better bicycle infrastructure in future urban planning processes (widely agreed, with the goal to keep cyclists and motor vehicles separated wherever possible), the pros and cons of bicycle registration (the Committee was against it as, significantly, was the Sunshine’s State’s largest motoring group, the RACQ) and multiple ways to address the escalating culture of animosity between road users.

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Reading through all 202 pages and 68 recommendations, one recurring theme in the report is the need for greater education and awareness to deliver long-term cultural change on the State’s roads.

In virtually every section of its findings, the Committee called for greater Government commitment to integrated marketing and education campaigns. Recommendation 56, in particular, couldn’t have been any clearer: “The Committee recommends that the Minister for Transport and Main Roads develop proactive, comprehensive and integrated education campaigns to be funded and implemented urgently.” The recommendation goes on to outline very specific messages for public education campaigns including better awareness of road rules relating to cyclists, fines and penalties, the dangers of dooring, entitlement of road use and addressing the general issues relating to cyclists as vulnerable road users.

Of course, to be implemented effectively such campaigns require considerable taxpayer funding. Recommendation 58 covers this as well: “The Committee is therefore recommending that the proportion of the annual road safety budget dedicated to education and awareness between cyclists and drivers be at least proportional to the representation of cyclists in the Australian population (around 18% in 2011).” Once again, this reflects the core proposal submitted by the Amy Gillett Foundation who argued 18% is an entirely appropriate funding figure “because bicycle riders comprise 18% (and growing) of all seriously injured road users.”

In a decision seen as a considerable disappointment by many, Minister Emerson viewed things differently however and Recommendation 58 is one of 17 that have been rejected by the Queensland Government. Instead there will be a continuation of the existing ‘Join The Drive To Save Lives’ campaign which was launched in late 2013 and, whilst yet to be seen, is scheduled to commence in mid-2014 and run into next year. Estimated campaign budget? $1.9 million. To bring this into some perspective, on 4 June last year the Newman Government announced a two-year $350 million action plan to tackle the State’s rising toll. In other words the $1.9 million represents little more than half of one percent of the total budget. Even for this mathematically challenged cyclist that seems some way off 18%.

Budgetary grievances aside, however, the slow pace of action to date has also been a source of frustration for many interest groups – particularly given the clear urgency with which the Committee felt educational campaigns should be adopted. According to the RACQ’s Steve Spalding who was personally involved in several of the public forums held by the Parliamentary Committee, “Roughly six months has passed since the report was handed down, and there’s been virtually no public education or messages that target better road sharing behaviour. We see that as a missed opportunity.”

“We tried to encourage the Committee to put a lot of work into education,” Spalding continues. “But while it certainly made its way into the report, it isn’t something the Government has adopted as a centerpiece of behaviour change.”

Tracey Gaudry shares similar views. “It’s critical to the success of the trial to ensure a thorough and prolonged awareness campaign to ensure it’s part of driver training and licencing.”

Bris4

Given two of the report’s supported recommendations are currently being trialled, the obvious question is what about the other 48?

Back in mid-May the RACQ’s Steve Spalding suggested many in the community including motorists, cyclists and even the RACQ itself were still largely in the dark. “After the report was handed down we wrote to the Minister with a formal response outlining our view on each of the 68 recommendations, and we’ve encouraged the Government to include us in any dialogue. We’re not even sure to what extent dialogue has taken place with other stakeholders. At any time when the Government is ready to engage us, we are ready to join the discussion.”

While understandably encouraged by the swift adoption of the MOD trial laws, Tracey Gaudry says the Amy Gillett Foundation supports the bulk of the recommendations and is keen to see swift action taken on the others. “As they were delivered we fully support 45 of the 68 recommendations,” she explains. “We have qualified support for a further 19 and do not support four recommendations. Some we believe need more work.”

So where are things at right now?

The formal Queensland Government Response to the Parliamentary Committee’s report was released on 28 May 2014. With specific responses to all 68 recommendations it’s fair to say the 33-page document offers plenty in terms of hope but little in terms of specific and measurable timelines. In other words, watch this space. But perhaps don’t hold your breath.

Regardless of which of the 50 supported recommendations ultimately gain the Parliamentary nod of approval, there seems little doubt they will, once again, create waves of community debate and division. A scan of social media sites quickly reveals the Committee’s original findings and the subsequent trial passing distance laws haven’t been a hit with everyone. But of course they were never going to be. It’s worth remembering Australia’s legislative tomes are overflowing with laws that, whilst unpopular with some interest groups, have nevertheless been adopted for the greater good of the wider community.

On the issue of social media, one of the more heartening albeit unexpected things to happen on introduction of the trial passing laws in April was the way the Queensland Government defended them in the face of what, at times, was scathing criticism in a channel that all-too-often descends into a cesspit of intolerance and hate from all sides: Facebook.

A remarkable online defence of the trial laws unfolded on the Department of Transport and Main Roads’ own Facebook page which, in many cases, saw direct and personal responses given to individual criticisms posted.

Time and no doubt hugely labour intensive, it was a symbolic stance that sent a powerful message to both the cycling and motoring public in Queensland. Despite this, however, the Transport and Main Roads seems reluctant to take much credit, instead playing a very straight bat indeed. “We promote responsible road use to all road users,” said a Department spokesperson. “Our Facebook page is just one channel used as part of our overall communication plan to provide information to cyclists and motorists about legislation changes. We will continue to use it as a way to communicate with our stakeholders.”

QLD FB

Looking ahead, what’s happening in Queensland right now is clearly only the beginning. The State is barely out of the neutral zone and by any measure there’s considerably more work to be done before the situation goes remotely close to achieving the objectives outlined by Committee Chairman, Howard Hobbs: “to significantly improve the interaction between cyclists and motorists on Queensland’s roads, thereby improving the human, economic and environmental outcomes.” But at least the wheels are in motion.

The Report may be 202 pages long, but drawing upon such an extensive foundation of reference materials, interviews and perspectives from both Australian and global experience, it’s well worth finding the time to download and read for anyone concerned with safety on our roads. In many places it will confirm your existing views. But it may also surprise you in others; something it certainly did for me.

The way the Amy Gillett Foundation sees things it isn’t just cyclists who should read the report either. Tracey Gaudry believes other state and territory governments should use it as the basis for their own legislation – sooner rather than later.

“The easy option is to sit and watch the legislative trial unfold, and then start their own work at the conclusion of Queensland’s two years,” she says. “We believe that’s wasting time, and lives.”

“The ACT is currently undertaking its own inquiry into vulnerable road users and we’re hopeful of a similar outcome. It’s fundamental for the other states to look at the ground the Queensland Inquiry covered and implement their own legislation, avoiding the need for further drawn out inquiries. While we respect the need for parliamentary process, we also recognise the need for action over talk.”

Whichever side of the road you stand in regards to what has happened – and continues to happen – in Queensland, the fact it’s happening at all represents a significant step for vulnerable road users. Now, as Gaudry says, if only the other States and Territories can be persuaded to show similar initiative, then we might really be getting somewhere.

Bris5

Read the full report: QLD Cycling Report

Read the QLD Government’s response: QLDGovtResponse28May2014

 

Don’t have time? Here are several other recommendations that caught our eye in the report:

Recommendation 3 – Centralised Data
SUPPORTED
The Committee recommends that the Department of Transport and Main Roads work with other relevant agencies to address the current lack of centralised data collection and reporting for on- and off-road cyclist injuries and fatalities.
Recommendation 18 – Rolling Stop
NOT SUPPORTED
The Committee recommends that the Minister for Transport and Main Roads amend the relevant Queensland road rules to allow for a ‘rolling stop’ rule which permits cyclists to treat stop signs as give way signs where it is safe to do so.
Recommendation 19 – Left Turn on Red
NOT SUPPORTED
The Committee recommends that the Minister for Transport and Main Roads amend the relevant Queensland road rules to allow a ‘left turn on red permitted after stopping’ rule for cyclists at red lights.
Recommendation 25 – Bicycle Lane Clearways
NOT SUPPORTED
The Committee recommends that the Minister for Transport and Main Roads add a provision to the Queensland road rules to specify that bicycle lanes are clearways between 6-9am and 3-7pm on weekdays.
Recommendation 34 – Bike Registration
SUPPORTED
The Committee recommends that the registration of bicycles not be introduced in Queensland and, if this recommendation is supported, the Minister for Transport and Main Roads make a public statement clearly outlining the reasons for making the decision.

Why do we ride?

ChrisN

Apparently, Chris also loves being photo-bombed by his mates.

A million different people will have a million different reasons. But whatever ours happens to be, however common or obscure, we’re all connected by our common love for riding. So when a club-mate, Chris, recently suggested it might be interesting to find out some of those reasons, it seemed like a pretty good idea. Maybe you’ve thought about this very question before? Maybe you haven’t? Either way we’d love to hear your story: why do you ride?

You can either tell us in the comments, below. Or even better send us an email (carbonaddiction@gmail.com) with a photo or two, and we can post some of the best right here in the days and weeks to come.

To kick things off, here’s why my club-mate Chris rides:

“…for the feeling you get when training and preparation leads to the performance you want at the time you need it most, either in the race or just the local group ride sprint! And the opportunity to talk about how good it was or wasn’t over coffee with like minded mates.”

Sounds like a good reason to me.

 

 

Facing our demons

We all have our demons on the bike. For some it’s the wet. Others despise the wind. The cold cuts straight through some riders. Whilst high speed cornering gives many amongst us the absolute heebie jeebies.

For FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot, however, the demon was descending. As we’ve seen time and again since the Frenchman burst onto the scene in Porrentruy to win Stage 8 of the 2012 Tour de France (a result that nearly gave his team manager Marc Madiot a heart attack and catapulted Pinot to 10th overall behind Brad Wiggins), climbing has always been one of Pinot’s greatest strengths. Only trouble was he had to come back down – and travelling quickly downhill appeared to so completely freak out the young man from Mélisey that just 12 months ago many were suggesting his professional career may well be over before it had really even began.

Pinot

After losing more than 30 minutes to the leaders in just two stages in the Pyrenees in the 2013 Tour and eventually abandoning on the stage to Mont Ventoux, Pinot was in tears. He told Cyclingnews at the time: “Some people are afraid of spiders or snakes. I’m afraid of speed. It’s a phobia.” He then went on to tell L’Equipe: “When I saw that I was not able to stay on the wheel of a rider like Mark Cavendish on the descent off a mountain pass, I asked myself: ‘What am I doing on the Tour?’ I received the clear response that I have nothing to do here. This is a very sad situation for me, I’m the person who is most disappointed about it… I don’t know if I will be able to get over this trauma.”

Voila! What a difference a year makes. If ever you need a source of inspiration for facing your fears, be it on the bike or anywhere else in life, look no further than this man. Pinot always had the physical gifts to compete and now after a considerable amount of hard work – including a highly specialised training program boasting, among other things, a rally driving course on ice – his head has finally caught up.

He may still not be the best (aka maddest) of descenders, but at least he can now hold his own with most in the peloton. He’s been reborn as a rider, and just look at him go – bearing down on a maiden podium finish in Paris. Sure, Nibali is in a class of his own this year. But given Pinot’s tender age, he’s still just 24, it may not be long before he joins the upper echelon of Grand Tour riders, along with the assembly line of other exciting French talent that’s beginning to make a real mark on the WorldTour. And as good as the French are going at his year’s Tour, let’s not forget potentially the best of them all isn’t even riding, 22-year old Warren Barguil.

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Painful to watch

Few sports in the world love an underdog more than cycling. From a local club race or handicap to Monuments and Grand Tours, the odds are so firmly stacked in favour of the raging peloton and its collective might, we find it captivating to see the heroic yet almost inevitably futile efforts of the daily breakaways.

Like a salivating lion playing with an orphaned fawn we know how the story will almost certainly end, for we’ve seen it thousands of times before, yet we ignore our head and listen to our heart, rooting with all our might for those poor souls engaged in the struggle for their sporting survival. Typically the kill is swift and painless, which makes it far easier to accept. But sometimes, as it was the case last night in Nimes, the final blow comes late and oh so cruelly. Perhaps on this rare occasion, we wonder, it won’t come at all? Maybe they will live on forever in glorious victory? Alas, it does. And tears flow for the fallen.

How most breakaways end.

How most breakaways end.

Here are some of the more heartbreaking and painful finishes we can recall in the last few years or so…

1) Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp)
Stage 15, 2014 Tour de France, 200km, Tallard To Nimes – caught by the desperate bunch in the final metres, the kiwi finished 10th and in tears prompting Paul Sherwen to utter this absolute gem:

“Sometimes the queen of cycling is very, very unfair on her subjects.”

2) Tony Martin (OPQS)
Stage 6, 2013 Vuelta, 175km, Guijuelo to Caceres – after a truly epic ride the human motorbike was cruelly caught by the surging peloton with just 20 metres to go on the stage. He finished 7th that day, but as we now know Grand Tour victory would ultimately be his, in the form of another heroic solo effort at this year’s Tour de France, where he stayed away in Stage 9.

Tony Martin Vuelta 2013

3) Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp)
2014 Liege-Bastogne-Liege – in something of a harbinger for the 2014 Giro d’Italia, the Irishman crashed while in 3rd place and closing rapidly on the race leaders into the final corner of La Doyene.

4) Christophe Mengin (FDJ)
Stage 6, 2005 Tour de France, 199km, Troyes to Nancy – crashed while leading on the final corner into the finish which, devastatingly, happened to be in his home town.

5) Ted King (Cannondale)
Stage 4, 2013 Tour de France, 25km TTT, Nice – following a Stage 1 crash on Corsica, King suffered badly in the TTT and was dropped within the first 1km. Battling on bravely he finished an agonising seven seconds outside of the time cut but was showed no mercy by organisers. His Tour dream was over.

Ted King TDF 2013

6) Noah Granigan
2014 Tour of Somerville, New Jersey – whilst perhaps not as emotionally damaging as the others (hid did still win, after all) this finish from earlier in the year was certainly a very painful one.

 

Classic Cycling Quotes #107 & #108

“With each crash we slowly lose the fearlessness of a child. Caution, which blossoms with maturity, has lengthened my career but also may have cost me victories.”

“Whatever our daily suffering, every rider in the race holds on to a shred of hope and belief. Maybe tomorrow will be our lucky day, where everything will go right…”

Retired Canadian professional cyclist, Michael Barry, in his biography, Shadows on the Road. Between 1999 and 2012 he rode for teams including US Postal, T-Mobile/HTC Highroad and Team Sky. In October 2012 he was suspended for six months after admitting to doping during his time with US Postal.

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Roadside Assistance

http://bicyclingaustralia.com.au/2014/07/roadside-assistance

Please excuse the self promotion here. But this is a link to an important article that appears in the current issue of Bicycling Australia magazine. It explores some of the key issues that are currently shaping the very future of road racing in Australia, and many other countries for that matter. It features exclusive interviews with numerous key road racing figures, including Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur, Drapac Sporting Director Agostino Giramondo and President of the Macarthur Cycling Club Peter McLean, who until it was cancelled last year were the custodians of the annual NRS Goulburn to Sydney Cycling Classic, first held in 1902 and quite possibly now lost forever.

SU097BA-01

 

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