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Old 07-18-04, 06:12 AM   #1
on2wheels
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Where's the crowd control???

Watching Armstrong and Basso approach the finish line for two stages now, my main concern was "somebody in the crowd is going to take them down". Why isn't there more protection for the riders?
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Old 07-18-04, 07:56 AM   #2
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Because it never happened, apart from one freak accident with Guerini on Alp d'Huez (a guy wanted to take a photo of him and didn't get out of the way in time).
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Old 07-18-04, 08:00 AM   #3
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part of it must have to do with the tradition of the race. i've always seen it like that. you're right though, it seems like there should be more problems. some of those fans get way to close.
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Old 07-18-04, 04:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Timo
Because it never happened, apart from one freak accident with Guerini on Alp d'Huez (a guy wanted to take a photo of him and didn't get out of the way in time).
Hey, what about last year with Armstrong, and Mayo crashing onto him?

And that Knob with the pitch fork? He's gonna take somone's eye out!!

Is it me or are the Fan's at the Tour well, even more drunk than those at a tailgate party... and in saying that, wouldnt you be a tad scared trying to get out of there at day's end? (YIKES!!)
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Old 07-18-04, 04:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Scooby Snax
Hey, what about last year with Armstrong, and Mayo crashing onto him?
...Armstrong himself said it was his own fault that this happened. The public didn't do anything wrong there
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Originally Posted by Scooby Snax
And that Knob with the pitch fork? He's gonna take somone's eye out!!
..."that Knob" is named Didi Senft and if something like that happens it would be the first time in 15 years, because he's been around since 1989.
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Old 07-18-04, 05:50 PM   #6
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1994, Armentieres, Tour gendarme.

It's not always the crowd.

Nothing you can do about it....it's part of bike racing and always will be. Ask Eddy Merckx about the day he got punched in the guts by a spectateur.
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Old 07-18-04, 06:08 PM   #7
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That was no accident though, it was downright malicious with intent to prevent Eddy from winning his sixth Tour.

I'm nervous that someone will try the same thing with Lance.
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Old 07-18-04, 06:11 PM   #8
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That was no accident though, it was downright malicious with intent to prevent Eddy from winning his sixth Tour.

I'm nervous that someone will try the same thing with Lance.
true.....no accident. But evidence that nutters can do some real damage at an event like the Tour.
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Old 07-18-04, 07:31 PM   #9
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Thus we have only one real accident that involved a spectator. Hardly a reason to distrust the crowd or to demand more protection.
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Old 07-18-04, 07:34 PM   #10
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Armstrong commented that him and Basso couldn't pass each other in the massive crowds, and that on one stage, the motorcycle in front of them was holding them up slightly as they passed through a huge crowd.
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Old 07-18-04, 07:39 PM   #11
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Armstrong commented that him and Basso couldn't pass each other in the massive crowds, and that on one stage, the motorcycle in front of them was holding them up slightly as they passed through a huge crowd.

shades of Chiappucci on Sestrieres.
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Old 07-18-04, 07:51 PM   #12
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Thus we have only one real accident that involved a spectator. Hardly a reason to distrust the crowd or to demand more protection.
I don't want to see the unique character of bike road racing changed in the least, but this is just plain wrong.

First, I do consider the incident between Merckx and the French fan an element of crowd control, so it is an incident I would count.

Three other incidents that come to mind in just the TDF:

In the 1992 TDF, Gianni Bugno and Robert Millar were knocked down by a fan who stepped out in front of them.

The Guiseppe Guerini incident.

The Lance Armstrong incident. Even though LA was gracious enough to take responsibility for riding to close to the crowd, it was an accident caused by a spectator throwing out his arms in excitement.

That's four I can think of, and I'm sure there are many more.

Don't get me started on incidents in regular races.
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Old 07-18-04, 07:55 PM   #13
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Let's not forget Leif Hoste's incident with that Lion of Flanders flag at Paris-Roubaix this year.
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Old 07-18-04, 08:23 PM   #14
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In 1975 or so, Merckx was punched in the kidneys by a crazed fan close to the end of the race when he was trying for No. 6. That incident is largely credited for costing him No. 6.
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Old 07-18-04, 08:24 PM   #15
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In 1975 or so, Merckx was punched in the kidneys by a crazed fan close to the end of the race when he was trying for No. 6. That incident is largely credited for costing him No. 6.

have you read the thread?
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Old 07-18-04, 09:05 PM   #16
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Crowd control...??? How do you suggest the race organisers accomplish this mammoth logistic task. It is not possible to control the frantic behavior of 300 000 fans standing on the road side.The lead vehicle has to keep a certain distance from the race leaders for the sake of emmisions and slipstreaming. There is not enough race marshall motorcycles to provide every group or single cyclist with protection.
Some of the fans have arrived days before, and are clearly very excited, - I know, I've been there myself. The behavior of some of the American fans (who else will run with the Stars and Stripes or Texan flag) has been particulary shamefull. I remember seeing an idiot with a massive flag running besides LA, almost crashing into him. Both Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen commented on this, pointing out the danger.
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Old 07-19-04, 06:21 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by poululla
....
Some of the fans have arrived days before, and are clearly very excited, - ....
Is that another way to say "sloppy drunk"?

Last edited by holicow; 07-19-04 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 07-19-04, 06:39 AM   #18
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Even if there's more crowd control, the riders may not be any safer. You never know when Christophe Moreau is going to put in an encore performance and punch a fellow rider (Sastre 2002 TDF) during a stage.
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Old 07-19-04, 07:10 AM   #19
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Maybe the best thing they could do is run the police cars on the sides of the riders as they ride, and then they can use their speakers to get the crowd to back off? That seems the way they were doing it at the Giro. In a situation like that, I also can't believe at least in the last 5 km, they can't put up the barriers. It looked as though the barriers were up only 2- 3 km from the finish. They can't find an extra 2- 3 km of barriers throughout all of France to protect the riders so they can at least ride unobstructed for the last few km to the finish? They can't find enough cops to patrol the area before the riders arrive? They can't have the announcers give warnings for the crowd to make way for the riders? It was clear that there was no way Armstrong could pass Basso- why not give riders the opportunity to attack with 5- 6 km to go? Wouldn't that make for a more exciting race? Even if they didn't care about the excitement, wouldn't it at least be safer for the riders? Sure, there haven't been many problems in the past, but why use that as an excuse to not do something preventative now? The idea is to prevent for something bad to happen, not wait for something bad to happen, then react. I would think they would try to be a bit more proreactive.

Seriously, whoever wins the race is fine with me. I would say this no matter who was leading. I felt bad for all those riders that had to ride through that mess. If I were in the same situation, I'd be pretty worried for my safety, and I'd be pretty upset that my path was being obstructed by fans, despite the good intentions of the fans.

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Old 07-19-04, 08:19 AM   #20
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I don't know if anyone noticed but during stage 13 the moto's were driving fans away from
Basso and Armstrong.
As for Didi there is a great article in PEZ cycling.
http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=2378
I was unaware that he is sponsored by LUK, german autoparts (or something).
excerpt:

PCN: How do you find the best place for your spectacle? It seems that it's usually not the key point of a stage.

DS: Yes, this is true. I try to avoid those places, as there is usually too much of a crowd, which does not really suit my role for which I need some space. I usually arrive several hours before the riders, so I can install my bike and paint the road. For the TdF, I carry about 50 litres of white wallpaint with me and I draw forks and bicycles on the roads. I have never painted names on the road, but this year I will write "Vino" down there as it is really a pity that he'll not be in the T-Mobile team at the TdF. When the advertising caravan arrives, I jump on all the vehicles, I chase the caravan girls and I scream at them. When the riders are passing by, I never afflict them. It's a question of respect for them. I chase them for the media, only from behind and never too close. Of course, there are riders who change the side of the road when seeing me. I don't know why they do so, but I take it as a sign not to chase them. Especially some riders of the female peloton do so.

(bold and italics are mine)
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Old 07-19-04, 08:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devil
That was no accident though, it was downright malicious with intent to prevent Eddy from winning his sixth Tour.

I'm nervous that someone will try the same thing with Lance.

I am nervous too. I think that the riders have every right to win. The outcome of the race should be who was the best bike rider. Not who the fans hate or like. It wrecked eddys chance at six. What about lance.
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Old 07-19-04, 08:28 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by on2wheels
Watching Armstrong and Basso approach the finish line for two stages now, my main concern was "somebody in the crowd is going to take them down". Why isn't there more protection for the riders?
You all may have noticed that my son Sven has again "kissed the asphalt" as his younger brother Clint expressed it. His fall this time was due to somebody in the crowd grabbing, or disturbing the handlebars of one of the riders in front of him, bringing that rider to fall. Having gone to a number of stages of the Tour myself, it is quite apparent that the police are doing their best to prevent such occurances. You can only put up guard rails along a limited length of the race. It's funny, here in Switzerland the crowds always seem to behave themselves standing safely back on the side of the road and applauding.

Jerry
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Old 07-19-04, 08:59 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by c.j.monty
You all may have noticed that my son Sven has again "kissed the asphalt" as his younger brother Clint expressed it. His fall this time was due to somebody in the crowd grabbing, or disturbing the handlebars of one of the riders in front of him, bringing that rider to fall. Having gone to a number of stages of the Tour myself, it is quite apparent that the police are doing their best to prevent such occurances. You can only put up guard rails along a limited length of the race. It's funny, here in Switzerland the crowds always seem to behave themselves standing safely back on the side of the road and applauding.

Jerry
CJ.
I was sorry to see that. I wasn't aware that it was caused by a fan.
Its bad enough when riders "kiss the asphalt" (I like that term) without
it having been caused by fan intervention. I'm sure that Lance after last
year agrees.
With the huge amount of publicity the Tour gets, and the advertising and media
push, I can only see the situation getting worse.

Marty
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