Has former UCI World Trials champion Vittorio Brumotti gone too far in his latest video? That’s the overwhelming opinion of road.cc readers after we shared it on Facebook yesterday evening.
One of the Italian’s trademark stunts is his ability to ride along the narrowest of surfaces – a railing above the Ligurian Sea near his home town of Finale Ligure, say, or a bridge parapet while attending Astana’s recent training camp in Spain.
It takes nerves of steel and Brumotti, with no safety line in evidence, clearly has those in abundance. And if the unthinkable happens – well, as the macabre saying goes, it’s his funeral.
Bring other people into the equation, however, and it’s a different matter altogether according to many people commenting on the video we shared on Facebook yesterday.
Filmed in Barcelona, Brumotti rides across the wooden frame of a footbridge across a busy dual carriageway in the Catalan capital.
And according to many comments, that means that it’s not just his own life that Brumotti is risking – it’s also those of the motorists and passengers in the vehicles below should something go wrong.
There’s also the issue of him distracting the drivers of the cars, vans and trucks below should they notice him riding across the top of the structure, which has clear implications for road safety.
One commenter, Gavin Knight, said: “Stupid. I love watching talented cyclists perform remarkable feats, but this is selfish. One slip and not only would he have risked his life, but the lives of those below.
“Imagine a cyclist crashing through a windscreen, or landing in the road ahead of you. Nope. He should be getting a bollocking from his sponsors for that bullshit.
“Most cyclists are doing their hardest to break the ‘us and them’ attitude between cyclist and motorists and frankly this stupidity doesn't help one bit.”
In response, Terry Halls said: “He doesn't even have to fall to cause a pile-up, rubber necking at accident spots causes a lot of serious accidents, so this could do the same.”
“Stupid and irresponsible” and “reckless and foolish” are two of the more succinct (and printable) comments made by others – and no-one has yet stepped forward to defend the rider.
We’re not familiar enough with Spanish law to determine whether there might be legal implications for him, and the situation may be complicated by the fact he is not riding on the public highway.
However, in a comment on Facebook, Lawrence Hallett said that Catalonia’s police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, should bring charges against Brumotti for reckless endangerment – in Castilian, riesgo imprudente.
We love watching skillful riding as much as you do, and when it comes to tricks and stunts, Brumotti is up there with the best. But it's difficult not to think, 'What if ...?' when watching this one.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.