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Talk me off the ledge (Race Promotion)

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Talk me off the ledge (Race Promotion)

Old 03-29-19, 04:06 PM
  #176  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
If it's who I think it is, she has been tearing it up in Europe the last couple of weeks.
Your wife is likely trying to recruit her! Did you know of her independent of your wife?

I had a friend once who was trying to be the US sprint champion (got 3rd). I asked her who was the sprint champion. She didn't know.

I don't want to call out posters that say we should support/watch women's cycling, but I'd expect less than 50% know the top female cyclists. Not that we much know the top males cyclists anymore restating my post above.

If we like speed, the younger speed is so high right now, it is getting like the other sports where the fastest in the world are in late teens and low 20s. The sport is still about the endurance folks, but if you like speed - don't look to the WT men (or women). Power and speed is all at U23. And in Megan's case U18.

I think we all like/d the Phil and Paul and Lance Podcasts more than the actual riders.

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Old 03-29-19, 10:57 PM
  #177  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
...
If we like speed, the younger speed is so high right now, it is getting like the other sports where the fastest in the world are in late teens and low 20s. The sport is still about the endurance folks, but if you like speed - don't look to the WT men (or women). Power and speed is all at U23. ...
San Dimas SR - Mountain ITT today, I think after I posted this.

Fastest P1 time - 15:01
Fastest USA Pro Time 15:04
Fastest Junior Time 14:33 (looks like a course record)

Stage 1 - GMR.Bike Mountain Time Trial - San Dimas Stage Race / SDSR

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Old 03-30-19, 03:47 AM
  #178  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Your wife is likely trying to recruit her! Did you know of her independent of your wife?
They ran junior and masters track nationals concurrently last year. That's how we met her and several other very impressive juniors. Had USAC not done that, I probably wouldn't know.
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Old 05-17-19, 06:28 AM
  #179  
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Various posts in this thread talk about the old days. No one on thread seems to know one thing about what I would consider old days. Old days would be when field limit in a category at Superweek would be 200 riders. Start the Cat 4s two minutes before the Cat 3s and you now have a field of 400. And most races would be beyond limit anyway. And yes, it would be possible to have 400 to 450 riders on course and have no accidents. When accidents did happen it was invariably road rash or collarbone. The complex injuries in today's crashes did not occur.

At the Northbrook track the junior field would be 30 to 50. Possibly one rider would line up in the "participation" category, the rest were there to race and they did. When Superweek was in town there would be 80 to 100 juniors. On regular track nights basically crashes did not occur. During Superweek the juniors could be a little dicey. But when someone fell the norm was pick yourself up, check your bike, line up for next event. It would happen a kid would go down and be back on bike so fast the ref would grant a free lap. There was no ambulance parked at the track. Why would there be? Years went by with no injury of any significance.

The senior 1/2 field was bigger. Usually about 60. During Superweek it could be twice that. Not sure the Northbrook track could even fit that many now with everyone riding massive gears. Normally zero in "participated" or "just training" mode. Racing in normal gears of 46x14 to 48x14 meant fast accelerations were possible. Riding very close was possible. One very normal sight, esp. in turn two, would be a pedal (Campy) taking a dozen spokes out of the front wheel of rider above on banking. Rider who just lost a dozen spokes would normally bring bike to safe controlled stop and everyone else would get around with no fuss. Put on a new wheel and race again.

Skill level was not in same universe as what is seen currently.

Can this ever return? Doubtful. Two technical factors would help. One would be gear restrictions. I can hear the howling already. The second would be some sort of control over use of silly and extreme time trial positioning in mass start events. Best possible control would be a years suspension for any fool enough to appear on start line with a position that put all others at risk. Since everyone who purchases an expensive bike or who pays a coach is prima facie assumed to know everything about bikes this is not happening. Coaching in old days was always free. Best coaching is still free today. When coach was a guy who had won 34 professional six day races, at a time when six day was the highest paid pro sport, no one questioned coach. There were no aberrant theories. Everyone on same program.

Old days were when Belgium sent young riders to Chicago for finishing school. Old days were when Dag-Otto Lauritzen as captain of Norwegian national team requested downgrade to Cat 3, and then wins Pyrenees stage of TdF ten months later.
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Old 05-17-19, 11:46 AM
  #180  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
The complex injuries in today's crashes did not occur.
lol. such unsubstantiated/unobservable bull****
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Old 05-17-19, 12:24 PM
  #181  
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
lol. such unsubstantiated/unobservable bull****
Correct. Cannot be observed. Unless you were there forty and fifty years ago. Will presume you were not.
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Old 05-17-19, 01:15 PM
  #182  
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It's because every car driven 40-50 years ago leaked a quart of oil a day, and this oil lubricated the roads in such a way as to mitigate the effects of friction on skin and bone.
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Old 05-17-19, 01:54 PM
  #183  
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
It's because every car driven 40-50 years ago leaked a quart of oil a day, and this oil lubricated the roads in such a way as to mitigate the effects of friction on skin and bone.
That's good. They sure did leak a lot of oil. Asbestos in the brake pads and in the air. Always nice to meet someone who appreciates that past & present are not identical.

I'm just an oldtimer reminiscing. I have promoted a few dozen races and will not again. Have officiated and volunteered and made cash contributions. None of that will be happening again. Why would anyone want to spend time around know-it-all racers?

Group rides and club rides and non-racing events used to be far smaller. There must be at least ten times more riders going fast than there were in 70s. Maybe one hundred times more. There are certainly rides and events happening in localities that had no racing presence at all in old days. Yet there are fewer races and the fields are always very small. Wonder why? Mirrors are helpful.
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Old 05-17-19, 02:06 PM
  #184  
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I mean it wasn't that long ago (maybe 2008 or 2009?) that the Aussie Jr National Team signed up in my 3 field at Fitchburg and raked us over the coals. It wasn't more than 5 or 6 years ago when 100+ person fields were pretty normal in this area. I think I've seen two crashes in the p/1/2 fields this year and they were both single person slide outs that everyone else safely avoided, and the riders were fine aside from some road rash. Last year I saw a dude have enough spokes ripped out of his front wheel for it to be slapping against his fork and bouncing him around, and he was pissed because there were like 5 miles to go, but he didn't go down. A couple of weeks ago I watched a dude unclip his right foot at 30mph and sit sideways on his saddle so he could lean the bike over far enough to adjust his rear derailleur, and nobody died.

Could it be, maybe, that you have some rose tinted glasses going on?
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Old 05-17-19, 03:32 PM
  #185  
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TheKillerPenguin , amazing story on the RD adjust!

Well, I'm only 35. And things have changed geographically around here. When I was a kid US-1 in NC was a two lane country road from Raleigh to Sanford. I remember taking forever to get home when someone would often die trying to pass too many cars and hit someone head on. When I went to college they had built it as a 4-lane divided highway.

I-540 didn't exist. Lots of I-440 probably didn't either. Shoot, they didn't fill Jordan Lake up till about the year I was born.

Even when driving age, I don't remember anything really much north of around Lynn Road in NW Raleigh. All those neighborhoods between there and 540 were build in the early 2000's. Wasn't really suburbia out there, yet.

In 1990 Cary had 45k people, now it has probably close to 175k. Morrisville was nothing, now it's bleeding into Cary.

We're talking a few hundred square miles between Wake/Durham/Johnston counties that used to be quiet country road now getting clogged with suburbia and fast moving dangerous traffic.

I could imagine it's a nightmare finding enough decent country road for a road race. God bless the folks who put on the Chapel Hill RR. I've had fun there a couple times while getting my butt kicked. Good little route.
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Old 05-17-19, 04:13 PM
  #186  
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
I mean it wasn't that long ago (maybe 2008 or 2009?) that the Aussie Jr National Team signed up in my 3 field at Fitchburg and raked us over the coals. It wasn't more than 5 or 6 years ago when 100+ person fields were pretty normal in this area. I think I've seen two crashes in the p/1/2 fields this year and they were both single person slide outs that everyone else safely avoided, and the riders were fine aside from some road rash. Last year I saw a dude have enough spokes ripped out of his front wheel for it to be slapping against his fork and bouncing him around, and he was pissed because there were like 5 miles to go, but he didn't go down. A couple of weeks ago I watched a dude unclip his right foot at 30mph and sit sideways on his saddle so he could lean the bike over far enough to adjust his rear derailleur, and nobody died.

Could it be, maybe, that you have some rose tinted glasses going on?
Good stories. Now imagine it is always like that and everybody rides like that. No one has ever seen a severe injury except when motor vehicles are involved. Much easier for a promoter to accept liability. Much easier to get liability coverage.

First time I ever did a group ride I slid out on gravel. Well on my way down, no hope of recovery. An old pro (old as I am now) reached down and pulled me up. No one got excited. Normal. Expectations adjusted. And it all continued like that until 80s.

Anyone would know that good juniors will run away from 3s.
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Old 05-18-19, 12:27 PM
  #187  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Good stories. Now imagine it is always like that and everybody rides like that. No one has ever seen a severe injury except when motor vehicles are involved. Much easier for a promoter to accept liability. Much easier to get liability coverage.
.

I genuinely can't tell if you're serious. Imagination is all that is. You've got to be seriously deluding yourself if you think anyone would buy any of these stories.

Riding a bike fast in a group is dangerous. It doesn't matter the level. And the higher the level, the greater the speeds, congestion, dangerous courses, etc. Stuff happens. It's not a new thing.
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Old 05-18-19, 02:49 PM
  #188  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I genuinely can't tell if you're serious. Imagination is all that is. You've got to be seriously deluding yourself if you think anyone would buy any of these stories.

Riding a bike fast in a group is dangerous. It doesn't matter the level. And the higher the level, the greater the speeds, congestion, dangerous courses, etc. Stuff happens. It's not a new thing.
The past is generally assumed to mimic the present. If you believe what you get with that thinking you are deluding yourself.

Having been on a bike 60 years have lost too many. Enough to not joke. The 'danger' of riding in a fast group is nonsense. Used to be about the safest place to be. Yes, there were many groups where all knew how to ride and all were on the same program. Yes, there really were Superweek events with over 400 in one race. Yes, there were entire seasons at Northbrook where no one got hurt. If racing were as dangerous as it is now, well, there wouldn't be a sport. Direction it is heading.

"Riding a bike fast in a group is dangerous." I believe that is how you have experienced the sport. It is the way things are now. It is simply not generally true.

Even over on C&V there are only a couple guys with memory before late 70s. The few who remember that much or beyond were not racing and were not connected. Links to past are completely severed. My big two mentors were Jimmy Walthour and Othon Ochsner. Othon, Sr. Jimmy learned from his uncle, who was pro in 1890s. Connections to entire history of sport.
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Old 05-18-19, 05:27 PM
  #189  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
The past is generally assumed to mimic the present. If you believe what you get with that thinking you are deluding yourself.

Having been on a bike 60 years have lost too many. Enough to not joke. The 'danger' of riding in a fast group is nonsense. Used to be about the safest place to be. Yes, there were many groups where all knew how to ride and all were on the same program. Yes, there really were Superweek events with over 400 in one race. Yes, there were entire seasons at Northbrook where no one got hurt. If racing were as dangerous as it is now, well, there wouldn't be a sport. Direction it is heading.

"Riding a bike fast in a group is dangerous." I believe that is how you have experienced the sport. It is the way things are now. It is simply not generally true.
Your belief doesn't matter. There are risks involved with most any sport. One such as cycling has even greater risks. To deny that is to simply put on blinders. You can stick your head in the sand and wax lyrically about delusions of the past, but don't expect many to buy what you're peddling.
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Old 05-18-19, 06:19 PM
  #190  
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FFS everyone knows the ground is harder today.
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Old 05-19-19, 08:49 AM
  #191  
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Also narrow handlebars have made the whole peloton 10 mph faster.
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Old 05-19-19, 12:03 PM
  #192  
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At least some here will have some memory of 80s and 90s. All through 80s and into 90s teenagers, minor children, would just show up at the start of club rides. If you showed you rode. Waivers? Releases? No one had heard of such. Parental consent? Then as now any club had an abundance of attorneys present and we just rode without any concern for liability. Behaving as we did and as the children did is simply inconceivable now. The present and the past are different.

Helmets happened in mid-80s. They were not automatic until end of 80s. Resistance to helmets was mostly based on the fact that we did not fall off our bikes. Fred fell. Racers did not. Head injuries? Who? No one we know. Get hit by a truck, yeah, you could get hurt. Otherwise a non-issue.

Going back to where no one remembers. My first race was 1967. I was 15. Just out for a ride and bumped into a race. In time for the Junior race. Juniors were 15, 16, 17 back then. Officials put a leather hairnet on my head, pinned a number on my jersey and away we go. No entry form. No entry fee. No release. No possibility parents could have been informed. Those officials were not careless or reckless or stupid. Same group who would be the officials around here the next twenty years. Even five years later just no chance the same men would have done the same thing so casually. But they were taking no risk. Riding that race was a lot safer than riding alone. It was a fast ride. John VandeVelde won, a year later he would be at Olympics. Other pacemaker was Olaf Moetus. Still a monster. And every rider in that race was looking out for the new kid and doing a good job of it.

Current riding is about as safe a sport as Russian roulette. It was not always thus. It does not need to be thus. If you ride in a group today be careful. Be prepared.
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Old 05-19-19, 12:39 PM
  #193  
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One of the most interesting track races with the most action is the Madison. It got its name from races held in the 30s at Madison Square Garden in NYC. Here are a couple of vintage videos of the races. Of note is the amount of crashing at the beginning and the carnage. And we know today, that the head injuries from those crashes, without a helmet, are cumulative making them even more dangerous.

Note in the videos that the rider positions have not changed very much but also note that they used to use a very low and forward position during accelerations.

As a side note, Merckx was in a terrible track crash suffering traumatic brain injury in a gurney race where another racer was killed. Hinault and others suffered bad crashes in the pro peloton without the benefit of a helmet.



Jason Kenny, one of premiere British sprinters, Olympic gold medalist and etc, weighs in at 176 pounds and 5'10". There is a sweet spot for size and weight for track sprinters that has existed forever.

I attended a structured training session on Thursday and there were a few Team USA track endurance guys on the track after we were done. Ashton Lambie, the newly minted 4k pursuit world record holder, was there and he is small but very fit. I do not see any difference between the olympians I watched at the track in the Olympics when they were in LA and the ones today that show up at Carson, CA as sprinters or endurance races training or at World Cup a couple of years ago.

One observation on riding in SoCal comparing the late 70s to today is that there are a lot more riders, teams, group rides and etc on the road today versus back in the day. I would ride with a training partner on a Saturday in the late 70s and he and I would be the only one on the roads. If we crashed, we had to run into each other which was possible.

He and I did a few large organized rides and there were a lot of crashes and since we did not have helmets, paid the price of hitting ones head on the then much softer ground.

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Old 05-23-19, 12:03 PM
  #194  
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Back to race promotion - we had one of the ones we still put on this last weekend...




Like everything else everyone has their own narrative. The basic consensus is the following:
1. The race is too hard and too many racers have realized there is no point in racing it as they can never do well (completely ignoring the fact they lose the vast majority of the races they enter anyway).
2. It has no gravel, gears that are fixed, doesn't give a finisher medal to everyone, and doesn't have rest stops with wine, string quartet, and a place to camp for the night.

Actual honest to goodness road racing with the roadie ethos is dead. If you take issue with that statement but haven't put on an event or pinned a number on in the last few months to year then sorry - you're part of the reason it has died.

All things die. It's OK. I just didn't intent on being the last one to leave the funeral.

We can now openly discuss new names for this forum. Old people waxing nostalgic about their own mediocrity or "how it used to be"?
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Old 05-23-19, 12:53 PM
  #195  
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This area is a bit weird lately in that the p/1/2 field is tending to be larger than every other one except for maybe the cat 4's. More often than not the elite field is larger than the 3's even. It's just kinda...weird. I have no idea how one goes about attracting newbies at this point. The stage race I'm doing this weekend we are by far the largest field at 77, and of the 77 riders 32 are from Canada.

I can't remember if this was posted yet, but here's CRCA's take on Bear Mtn, which is one of the best and most well attended races in the region. https://www.tobedetermined.cc/journa...alancing-books
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Old 05-23-19, 01:47 PM
  #196  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
No one on thread seems to know one thing about what I would consider old days.
Oddly enough this is my 51st season in cycling as a sport.
My 1st coach raced on the board tracks pre-WWII and I competed in ABL of A, USCF and NORBA racing on the track, road, 'cross and MTB for a good long while.

When you say "we did not fall off our bikes" I have to disagree, race crashes happened in every discipline of the sport "back when" and I have the collarbones to prove it.
There was no free lunch in physics back when, bike handling skills were not magically endowed on all at the time, people did stupid stuff, **** just happened and we were willing to take risks that didn't work out so well sometimes. Kind of like today, no doubt.

It's not 1969 anymore, and your version of it never was in my racing experience either.

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Old 05-23-19, 02:44 PM
  #197  
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I think a not insignificant part of it is they repair stuff surgically now that they couldn't possibly then. 20 years ago I'd be out of the sport instead of racing and and saying that some genius surgeon saved my elbow that was in 9 pieces.

Plus if you read the stories of guys dying on the velodrome the idea that there's a quantum difference in the dangers is simply silly. Yeah, riding on the roads is more dangerous due to phones anger and bigger cars, but that's different song and dance.
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Old 05-23-19, 03:32 PM
  #198  
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Oddly enough this is my 51st season in cycling as a sport.
My 1st coach raced on the board tracks pre-WWII and I competed in ABL of A, USCF and NORBA racing on the track, road, 'cross and MTB for a good long while.

When you say "we did not fall off our bikes" I have to disagree, race crashes happened in every discipline of the sport "back when" and I have the collarbones to prove it.
There was no free lunch in physics back when, bike handling skills were not magically endowed on all at the time, people did stupid stuff, **** just happened and we were willing to take risks that didn't work out so well sometimes. Kind of like today, no doubt.

It's not 1969 anymore, and your version of it never was in my racing experience either.

-Bandera
OK, you guys are all right and I'm wrong. Cycling is dangerous. Real dangerous. Inherently so. Cannot be made non-dangerous.

Remember that as the field on the start line gets smaller and smaller. Remember that when you can't get a closure or a permit. Remember that when no one will write you insurance. Continue to self-identify as foolhardy daredevils and see who cares about you.

Slightly more respect is due Bandera. Who has broken collarbones. The classic cycling injury. In my memory collarbones was the normal worst case scenario (no motor vehicles involved). After the first one no need to even see a doctor. If young and healthy back on bike in two or three weeks. I only raced about 150 times, was not good at it. Happier in support roles. Broke one collar in a MTB race going down a ski hill. One broken on a training ride in stuff happens mode. That one was good in a week and a half even though I was past 40, it was not a bad fall. Other than that two motor vehicles succeeded in making me get a grand total of 43 stitches. That is the entire injury report for 400,000 miles. There are now club rides with worse injury reports every weekend. I hope there are a few racing who are still safe, I know more than a few who would see my lifetime injury list as not much for a single season. The severe injuries, surgeries, life changing crashes were very rare in past. What I said above about no ambulance parked at Northbrook is absolutely true, there was no need. When that service arrived in later 80s it was for a reason. And by the time the ambulance arrived the bleachers were empty. I still remember every seat taken and hundreds of standees. Because the racers put on a good show. A good clean show with no blood.

Including falls when a little kid and being knocked off bike by motor vehicles (usually without injury), racing, a few thousand club rides, I have a total of ten or twelve falls. Laugh as much as you want. If you fall more often it's on you.
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Old 05-23-19, 03:57 PM
  #199  
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If anyone cares about keeping minor details straight Merckx was injured in a Derny paced criterium, not in a gurney race on track. He suffered a dislocated hip, not a TBI. The deceased was his Derny pacer, not another racer. The pacer was also Merckx' godfather and trainer, Merckx watched his friend die. Back in 1969 there was no good medical treatment for the sort of dislocation Merckx suffered. He did the remainder of his career in great pain. Today any physical therapist could and would resolve that injury quickly.

Rather notable that most famous racers don't have a history of major injuries. LeMond had a hunting accident but nothing big on road. Lance had cancer, no big incident on road. And so forth.
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Old 05-23-19, 04:38 PM
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@63rickert when exactly did this shift towards increased injury occur, in your opinion? Lance wasn't that long ago.
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