Too much rain?

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Tim De Waele

Was it really that bad out there?

Stage 6 of Tour of Poland got cancelled due to bad weather and bad road conditions. Not sure how much people could tell from pictures or videos, but it actually was pretty bad out there. So let me elaborate on it as one of the riders that did a lap around the course in the pouring rain.

First I’d like to thank the race organizers for understanding the risks and putting riders safety, health and well being before making a dollar. Secondly, also a huge cheer goes out to the Polish fans and everyone else that has been around to watch the race. The crowds have been big even on weekdays and it’s awesome to race with such people on the roadside. Even yesterday when we finished 46 minutes down on the winner, there were kids along the road cheering us on and today as well there were people out there. I’m most disappointed you guys missed the battle and hopefully you’ll understand and forgive us. Thirdly, I’d like to thank the team staff that have been working night and day here for us and even if we rode our bikes just for a lap around the course they were ready for a full on race, had done all the preparation and they will also be cleaning all our bikes, the spare bikes and refilling the bottles. Finally, the volunteers that have been making the race possible and will yet again take all the barriers off and rebuild the course tomorrow, you guys and gals are what truly make the racing possible. Thank you.

Tour de Suisse - Stage 9

All that said, here’s why the race conditions were too dangerous. Rain of course made the roads slippery, but that’s nothing too much to worry about. However because it had been raining for so long and so strong there were puddles several cm deep, flowing water on the road, there were rocks washed out on the course and when the water is so deep, you don’t know and can’t see if there’s a pothole, or there’s a rock you’d hit. Imagine if you hit either while going downhill!? It’s your race most likely over, possibly other riders you take with, and possibly jeopardize the rest of the season. Is that really worth it? Also on top of two climbs you couldn’t see further then 50m ahead. Add that to the slippery roads, worse breaking capabilities and stones you notice last minute. The descends around here are pretty steep and that makes stopping harder, so that even further bumps up the risk. If on a classic rainy day you’ve got a chance of crashing around 40%(my calculations only based on experience), then I’d guess you’d have a 70% chance you’d hit the deck today. I might be exaggerating I might not be, cause let us not forget already 85 riders pulled out yesterday alone, because of crashes, punctures and bad luck.

It was a pleasure to see how much padding and and safety measurements were taken along the whole circuit! It really was. The organizers had done a tremendous job. I hope to come back next year and race the circuit and battle it out even harder.

I’m sure the right call was made today and the riders will have more in the tank to give it a good go tomorrow in the ITT in Krakow!

Sincerely,

T.s.

P.S. If it hadn’t been for a shorter day I wouldn’t have had time to get another blog post ready. Another besides this one which is coming soon.

Suisse 9-8

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2 thoughts on “Too much rain?

  1. I’m glad the Tour of Poland organizers recognized the risks to riders and cancelled the stage. Better safe, than sorry! It sounds like the organizers have riders’ safety very much in mind for the entire race. Pretty great!

    I’m hearing via the NBCSports Gold app – which is terrific, btw – and reading online, that the road race course at the Rio Olympics is tough. Evidently, many sprinters don’t want anything to do with this course because it’s too difficult for them. Sounds like it’s a great course for the AoTC Lodi to South Lake Tahoe stage winner, eh?! Yes, the Serra da Tijuca circuits look mean on the profile map and are steep in places, but a lot of the race is next to the beaches of Rio! Hopefully, you’ll be feeling very well and your legs will be strong that day.

    I know you say you’re not a mountain goat, but both stages of AoTC you won were steep hills and mountains and – hey! That first stage you won, finished at the beach, if I remember correctly. Just sayin’ …

    No matter what, we’ll be cheering for you!

    I saw Ramūnas Navardauskas near the end of the sprint in TDF last Monday. That steep kilometer just before the finish, seemed too much for him after riding all day. Great to see him in the mix! I loved the second week of TDF 2016. It was more unique than usual.

    No Latvian message today. My translator is busy earnin’. 😊

    • I’ll definitely give Rio a good go. Not going there just to ride around.
      Yes, Ramunas is amazing as always. Best team mate, but also a strong guy for a result on any kind of terrain.

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