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Not in general, just this years race.

So far we have had Froome, Contador, Cavendish, Zandio and Frank all with broken bones plus quite a few other riders abandon such as Clement after hitting his head hard.

Its been 10 days of hard cycling and the weather hasn't helped either. Has the parcours been wrong or is it "just one of those things that happens" ?

Is the race worth serious injury or is there to much at stake for teams now that sponsorship is starting to dry up and they have to be seen at the front pushing hard.

16 comments

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CXR94Di2 [1154 posts] 2 years ago
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Racing has always been hard, just a larger amount of notable abandonments this year. Maybe the racing has been harder therefore pushing the limits.

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EarsoftheWolf [75 posts] 2 years ago
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I think it's coincidental that several of the big names have had bad spills this year. Cavendish's was his own fault, a misjudgment because of his desperation to win the first stage. Froome and Contador both seemed to hit patches of bad weather at just the wrong moment and going at full speed there's hardly any margin for error.

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AWPeleton [3319 posts] 2 years ago
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10 days solid racing has to cause fatigue and when any person is fatigued they make mistakes. Personally i think they should have had a rest day after the cobbles section.

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dreamlx10 [157 posts] 2 years ago
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"Too" dangerous do you mean ?

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MartyMcCann [236 posts] 2 years ago
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I would guess that the attrition rate isn't much higher than in previous years-it is just that with so many big names being involved it appears as such.

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Leviathan [1984 posts] 2 years ago
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I was thinking of starting a thread called 'Tour de Apocalypse' but you beat me to it.

I think if there was a way of indexing first week climbing against rainfall this tour would stand out. Back when the tour was on C4 it seemed to spend a whole week just winding along the coast through fields of sunflowers. Ah, the Blue Train... takes me back.

Don't forget Andy.

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Leviathan [1984 posts] 2 years ago
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I was thinking of starting a thread called 'Tour de Apocalypse' but you beat me to it.

I think if there was a way of indexing first week climbing against rainfall this tour would stand out. Back when the tour was on C4 it seemed to spend a whole week just winding along the coast through fields of sunflowers. Ah, the Blue Train... takes me back.

Don't forget Andy.

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 2 years ago
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by this point in the 2013 race 16 people had abandoned. in 2012 it was 23. 18 is by no means exceptional. unusual it's big names, but that's bike racing

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Him Up North [235 posts] 2 years ago
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Dave Atkinson wrote:

by this point in the 2013 race 16 people had abandoned. in 2012 it was 23. 18 is by no means exceptional. unusual it's big names, but that's bike racing

It's interesting to look back at the 2012 tour when you see up to the end of stage 5 only 4 riders had dropped out (one fewer than this year). Then on stage 6 there was the huge crash in the peloton between Épernay and Metz. Four riders withdrew and another eight didn't start stage 7. Blimey.

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glynr36 [637 posts] 2 years ago
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Nope, less people abandoning at current.
Just riders who were up for GC that's all.
This years Paris Roubaix, Paris Nice, and Giro all had around 50 riders abandon, would you consider those more dangerous?

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bashthebox [751 posts] 2 years ago
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You can't compare abandons in a classic to abandons in a GT - people abandon a classic when they can either no longer win it, or are no longer of any use to a team mate. People stay in a GT because they need to be riding the next day.

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Simon E [2722 posts] 2 years ago
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Racing is always dangerous, there are plenty of nasty crashes in local cat 2/3/4 races.

The first week is always nervous. Geraint Thomas has mentioned some needlessly risky riding in a couple of post-race interviews over the last week, never mind the hazard of iPad- or phone-toting spectators or loose dogs, as seen in previous years.

But it seems to me that, in the cases of Cavendish and Contador, it was the rider at fault. Fuglsang said:

"Contador took a big risk. On a descent with bad asphalt, he passed us, went 10-15 km/h faster. 1k later he fell on his ass."

Nicolas Roche said they were doing about 70kph in the wet. On a really long, straight Contador reached into his back pocket and lost control.

Push too hard and you crash. It's simple, really. Even a champ can't always ride one-handed (unless his name is Sagan, who can even do a no-handed wheelie no-handed at the end of a hard stage! ).

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glynr36 [637 posts] 2 years ago
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bashthebox wrote:

You can't compare abandons in a classic to abandons in a GT - people abandon a classic when they can either no longer win it, or are no longer of any use to a team mate. People stay in a GT because they need to be riding the next day.

2 of the 3 I mentioned weren't a classic though...

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James Warrener [1082 posts] 2 years ago
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I think the combination of bad weather and the fact there are always crashes in the first week of the Tour have combined.

In other years we lose the odd favourite in week 1. This year we have lost the top 2.

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racingcondor [173 posts] 2 years ago
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Thanks for that quick bit of analysis Dave. I had been wondering how the total number of withdrawals stacked up.

I suspect poor weather hasn't helped but had a feeling that total starters on each stage tended to be holding up pretty well. Good to know it's, at least in part just bad luck that it's big names that have fallen.

Other than the GC though it's been a hell of a race so far.

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AWPeleton [3319 posts] 2 years ago
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With the pressure to succeed even greater now perhaps riders are chancing their luck a bit more, Contador doing 70kph in the wet trying to get back on the peloton speaks volumes.

Perhaps i was wrong saying is the race becoming more dangerous perhaps it should have been "is the pressure faced by cyclists in the current financial climate causing the race to be more dangerous by riders having to constantly be in the limelight" ?

Personally i dont know i just thought i would put it out to see what people thought.

Thanks for the responces though  4