Pro riders who crash a lot
Last Post 02/11/2018 07:59 PM by Orange Crush. 13 Replies.
Author Messages
Red Tornado

Posts:150

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01/30/2018 08:54 AM
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/haussler-breaks-collarbone-in-training-crash/ Read this story and it made me think about him and others - van de Velde, Contador (the last years) just to name a couple - who are known for laying it down repeatedly. What is it that causes this on a continuous basis? I would think the average pro would have above average bike handling skills compared to the rest of us. They should also be aware of what's going on in the peloton, their own positioning relative to the other riders, etc. Just seems like bad luck follows these guys. I know a few local riders who have the same problem. Crash after crash after crash after crash with no end in sight. Any thoughts?
zootracer

Posts:585

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01/30/2018 09:25 AM
It's all Obama's fault...
79pmooney

Posts:1808

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01/30/2018 12:08 PM
My observation is that it takes two things to be a pro level bike racer - the engine (and perhaps someone who sees the potential of that particular engine) and the drive to have the discipline to do the incredible work. he rider who passes those two tests may or may not be blessed with fine motor skills, good eye-hand coordination, etc.

For a poor example. Myself. Very poor at those last two attributes. No quick muscles. I was third string or near last to be called at a private school with three sports/year my last 7 years there (except ice hockey - I figured out that I could play goalie and use my backwards skating skills; one of the few things I was actually good at, to offset my poor hand abilities. 2nd string and a lot of playing time.) I was just about mid field at cross-country. Coach didn't care if I went to meets because I wouldn't break the top six for our team and wouldn't be scored.

But on a bike, I could go uphill at a very decent speed and both do it all day and love it. And ex-racer and touring club president saw that in my build and told me that the next morning I was to show everybody what I could do on the one climb in that day's 60 mile ride. I put two minutes on the next rider and probably that again on the group behind.

I dind't crash a lot in races because I was very aware of my limitations. I was also willing to back off to save my skin. That cost me some placings. I had the chance to beat one of the areas really good sprinters in a race on a very hot day with a long uphill drag to the finish but he rode me uncomfortably close to the barriers and I backed off. Someone of the Mark Cavendish mindset never would have and would have either have crashed or beaten that sprinter.

So my racing didn't see a lot of crashes. But I went down 5 times on average every snow winter and have been down from leaves, bike failures, car doors, a crack in the road, wet brick (several times) and on and on. Cracked wrist, broken thumb, more ribs than I can count, 4 collarbones, all the hair on my knees, all the corners (elbows, ankles and hips).

I got into cycling because it was the escape for a geeky kid who got teased unmercifully. At 22, I learned on that club ride that I had the body of an uphill angel, that there was one thing I could do far better than almost anybody else, where I could soar. If the hill was tough enough, I could ride side by side with good Cat 1s. If there had been 3 week Grand Tour racing for Cat 2s, I'd be a favorite for the mountain jersey and had a real shot at the podium; maybe even the top step if the course was hard enough. But I would have also been subject to crashes if I didn't stay careful.

Bike racing, esp road racing is the sport where an incredible range of body types can thrive. Many who race would not do well at many other less demanding but far more popular sports. So we get those characters who don't have great natural borne skillsets but have the magic pairing of the engine and the drive. Put those characters on 16 pound machines with no bumpers at all (basically as good in close conditions as open wheel Formula 1's) that go 24-40 mph inches apart, and what you might expect happens.

Zoot - had Obama never smoked and lived the life on an elite athlete, I think he might well have been a good case study for my theorem.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1808

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01/30/2018 12:09 PM
Bah!! Multiple posts!
79pmooney

Posts:1808

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01/30/2018 12:16 PM
Multiple posts!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2230

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01/30/2018 12:47 PM
A whole host of reasons can be at fault....poor ability to anticipate situations where crashes may occur, poor bike handling skills, lack of situational awareness, etc.

A definite contributory factor to all of those issues, IMO, is poor bike fit. I see a lot fo riders with poor fits and their weight distributed in less-than-optimal places....they often are ones who suffer falls frequently. See Zulle, Alex as an example....



Weight is way too far back, arms too outstretched, etc. Absolutely horrific position which impacts how well you can respond to situations and what happens when you do.....

It always amazes me when i see pro riders with god-awful positions on their bikes....
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:2061

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01/30/2018 12:59 PM
Some people are definitely more accident (crash) prone than others. No reason why this would be different for pros. I don't think it is bike handling related. I think it is related to focus and ability to respond quickly.

I'd consider myself to be an average bike handler at best. But when $4it happens out of nowhere somehow I have cat like reflexes.
longslowdistance

Posts:1519

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01/30/2018 09:10 PM
Shleck. Tyler Hamilton.
Habanero

Posts:137

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01/31/2018 07:13 AM
Posted By ed custer on 01/30/2018 09:25 AM
It's all Obama's fault...


WIN!!!!!!!!
Habanero

Posts:137

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01/31/2018 07:17 AM
The one who always amazed me was Sean Kelly who had a god awful position on the bike, yet despite that was a canny bike handler.
Nick A

Posts:529

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01/31/2018 10:48 AM
Yeah, I'm thinking it's just like at the low levels, at the high levels, there are all types. I'm wondering how much of it is bike handling (probably some of it), and bad decision making. (I can make it through that hole.)

N
steelbikerider

Posts:62

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02/03/2018 06:39 PM
Just a theory but I wonder if people who are more naturally gifted in skill sports are better bike handlers because of hand -eye coordination. Many of us gravitated to cycling because we lack "natural talent" in other sports and hard work and training can overcome a lack of nature's gifts to point. On the other hand, people who are accident prone on the bike are probably the same off the bike.
79pmooney

Posts:1808

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02/03/2018 10:23 PM
Posted By Darrell Edwards on 02/03/2018 06:39 PM
... On the other hand, people who are accident prone on the bike are probably the same off the bike.

Yup.  "Bumping into the kitchen table" leaves indelible scars when done on the bike.

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:2061

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02/11/2018 07:59 PM
This is my favorite crasher

'Every year I make a programme but I don't keep it because I do stupid crashes'

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/gesinks-unfinished-business/


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