Bollard versus Bike? Bollard wins.
The picture above shows a bollard. Indeed, it is apparently THE bollard into which Steven Kruijswijk of Team LottoNL Jumbo crashed at high speed in the last km of Stage 5 of the Vuelta a Espana as the peleton came flying through the streets of Lugo. The picture was posted shortly after the race on social media, in this case on Bram Tankink’s twitter feed.
These guys are travelling at great speeds when they are closing on the finish line so when it comes down to a fight between a bollard such as the one here and a carbon race bike on which sits a human being, then the bollard is going to win. Every time. In this case, Kruijswijk suffered a broken collar bone and had to leave the race. That’s bad enough but it could have been worse. Last year, Peter Stetina suffered awful leg injuries when he too hit a bollard on a stage of the Tour of the Basque Country. You might have though the UCI or someone would have done something in the wake of that. Apparently not.
Action not words
It is becoming increasingly de rigueur that the minute anything happens in life these days, social media erupts. People start screaming for something to be done and for someone, somewhere, to be sacked. They demand money to be spent and assurances that it can never happen again. As a general rule, we don’t subscribe to such a knee jerk approach.
But on this occasion, we share the anger that has been shown over the Kruijswijk incident yesterday. It is not beyond the wit of man to check a route and make sure all items of road furniture have at least been considered and risk assessed. It is however unconscionable not to have done that in the last 3 km of a stage finish in a twisty town centre road section of a Grand Tour.
We think Geraint Thomas put it best last night when he said “Hey UCI Cycling how about you stop banning oversocks and do something?“. Quite.