Kjetil wrote:Can the pile-ups be caused partly by that little terrain suppression making an accordion effect in combination with what looks like an every man for himself head on/down sprint?
I like the cow, btw.
yup from my not so lengthy racer experience, the reason why the crashes happen every year on that finishing straight is a combination of things below:
- the final run in, is slightly down hill. I know strava is like not definitive, but it says the last 1.6km or 1 mile is 1.5% down hill.
- It's very very straight and the finish can be seen in the distance from 2km out
- cat 3 and cat 4 (inexperience, and everyone thinking they can win, AND sprinting for 1-25th placings)
- the course isn't very hard* well , racers make it hard or not right? so people 'feel' fresh going into the final
here is what i've seen first hand in the past two years is that races going into the final 1.5km are spread across the road. People are 'feeling' good, and ready to start sprinting.... The issue seems to be that once people see the 1km signage, they open up their sprint...no not lead out, their sprint to attempt to WIN from 1km out. This is the issue it seems because the first guys then kick the hornets nest and you have 5-6 lines, spread across the road, sprinting full blast, trying to win , leading out everyone behind. Now everyone behind getting their draft aren't using much energy so they have energy to give. 2nd wave, and 3rd wave are all anxious and they start sprinting at 800m....for the win. The front wall of sprinters (well their legs) are now giving up.....They start to become road furniture and people behind are either a) block in... b) or still want to be in their draft realizing they are 800m away.
you simply have people running into the backs of each other or slamming on brakes.... This on a finish that's down hill and stupid fast. Last year I ran into the back of someone, because he ran into the back of someone. Someone ran into the back of me, flipped, and broke his hip.
This year i rode on the side of 4 trains top 8-10 places, in the wind from 1.5km out, because i decided that i was not going to take anyone's wheel in this race. I was surely going to ride FAST , but i wasn't going to put myself in the same position as last year, getting boxed with nowhere to go, and only people to smash into. By 600m out, i could just see in my peripherals elbows touching, hearing riders yelling, and suddenly carbon cracking and tubes popping...... It was all happening to behind me. Really scary. I didn't look back, but ended up hearing about the carnage after crossing the line.
a young junior, my friend, shattered his collarbone. His wheel got pablo picasso'd. 20 people went down at least. 4 went to hospital.....