In his last blog for Cyclingnews TFR rider offers his view on the vexata quaestio of safety at races and it isn't banal. TFR has always supported the idea that radios are good for safety, now Mollema thinks it's just the opposite. He's quite harsh about UCI, organisers, Teams and also rider: they are doing nothing to make races less dangerous. And his suggestions are both simple and realistic. Have a look.
1. Not enough. "The UCI, race organisations, teams and riders are not really doing anything (or enough) to reduce the number of crashes. It’s like we say to ourselves, ‘oh yeah, there was another crash,’ and then we just continue on until the next big crash happens."
2.Dangerous routes: "Sometimes crashes happen because the parcours is too dangerous. [...] In that case, I think organisations should really look carefully at the parcours, especially the last 25km."
3. Stress: "I think the reason for many of these bigger crashes is because there’s more and more stress in the peloton. Riders are fighting more for a top-10 position than they were in the past." [...] The mentality is not like it should be. A lot of riders think that it’s almost the end of the world if they lose their teammate’s wheel. [...] Sometimes it’s the riders who are making mistakes."
4. A too big peloton: "In my opinion, the peloton is too big. I think it would be better to race with smaller teams and less teams, especially at the Grand Tours, but also the other big races. [...] It would be a lot better because it would force teams to be more careful with their riders [...] As for the racing itself, having smaller teams would make races more interesting to watch, tactically."
5. No radios: "Also, I think riding without the radios would help with rider safety. [...] I’ve spoken with other riders about this… team directors can create a lot of undue stress for the riders just by telling them through the radios to stay close together, to be at the front during certain moments in the race, whether it’s for the start of a climb or if a cobbled section is coming up. [...] I think it’s better to give more responsibility to the riders. Let the riders make their own choices as to where they need to be in the peloton. Let them review the parcours before the races so that they know when the climbs are coming, instead of the team directors feeding them all of this information through a radio during the races."
6. Time Neutralisation: "And why not take the times for GC at three kilometres to go? Or change the three-kilometre rule, as it is now, to five or 10 kilometres?"