I just competed in my first Stage Race (TT, Road Race, and Crit). I did well in the TT (#4), dropped to #5 in the GC after the Road Race, and then DNF'd the crit because of a reckless rider who took me down and sent me to the hospital. I'm new to all of this, so I had a few questions which I couldn't find answered elsewhere in the forums (apologies if I missed them).
In the final 4 laps of the crit, the reckless rider slipped in between another cyclist and myself who were going side by side. First he knocked into the other rider (handlebars to handlebars), then he slammed into me (handlebars to handlebars). This knocked me down, busted up my bike, body, etc, and took down one of the riders behind me, but the reckless rider continued without going down. As he hit me, he said "oh, sorry", indicating to me that he didn't mean to do it, but he was just reckless. He finished the race in the top 10. I DNF'd.
- Is this just the nature of bike racing? Do crashes really happen that frequently and send people to the hospital all the time? I've done some practice crits and a bunch of group riding, but this is my first real crit, and now I'm not sure it's worth the risk. After healthcare costs, broken bike, broken kit, and downtime from training, I'm going to be out almost $1000 and a week of training (and a bunch of pain!)
- What can I do about this? Can I lodge a formal complaint? Will it matter? I tried at the race, but the official basically just told me that they couldn't do anything, which I found hard to believe. He suggested I talk to the rider.
- Since I DNF'd in the final 4 laps of the race (they started the countdown at 5), is there any way that I can still get a time based on where I was in the pack (I was in the front pack) so as to retain my GC position? I noticed this in the rule book under the topic of "Finishes":
Do you think this applies?(ii) A rider who suffers a mishap in the last three
kilometers of a road race stage or after free laps
have ended in a criterium stage shall be given the
same finish time as the riders he was with at the
time of the mishap, provided that the mishap was
observed or otherwise verified by a race official. The
rider shall be given his actual place across the finish
line, or last in the stage if he is unable to cross the
- It turns out that this reckless rider had other incidents in this stage race. He was caught drafting for several miles during the TT, for which he was only penalized 1 minute on the GC. I would think this sort of thing would get you DQ'd, but I guess not? All I saw in the rules book was that one "wasn't supposed to draft" during the TT. What is the standard for how badly one is penalized for different rule infractions?
Thanks for the answers. It's just frustrating to see what seems like an injustice here. I guess that is why one tries to get out of Cat 5 as fast as possible to avoid people like this? Or perhaps I just need to work on my handling so as to avoid crashing when someone hits me hard?