If you follow pro bike racing, you’re already aware of the drama surrounding last weekend’s Tour of Flanders. For those that don’t, here’s the short version. Peter Sagan, Greg van Avermaet, and Oliver Naesen were chasing race leader Philippe Gilbert with 16km left. With a 55-second gap between them, the race was poised for a memorable finish when the unthinkable happened. As the group was hurtling along the barriers, Sagan lost control of his bike and crashed, taking down his fellow chasers with him. That obviously interrupted their efforts, and Gilbert managed to stay away for a memorable solo victory.
Many initially blamed Sagan for riding too close to the barriers in an effort to stay off the rough cobblestones, assuming he simply ran into one of the fixed barrier legs. But this fan video shot from the opposite side of the barriers appears to show a fan’s jacket hanging over the fencing may be to blame. When watched in slow motion, it appears the offending blazer snags on Sagan’s left brake hood, causing him to lose control. The same jacket also gets snagged on Naesen’s bike. Press play to see for yourself and check out Sagan’s commentary on the incident in the comments below.
I am sure this video verifies the feeling I had about the cause of my crash yesterday at the Tour of Flanders. I was close to the barrier but I was in control when I felt that something caught my left arm, maybe the jacket that is seen later on me. I wouldn't have clipped the barrier with my wheel if I hadn't had my arm caught by that object. However, these things happen in racing and I now have to focus on Paris-Roubaix. (Video by @Seal_Jobs)
Where do you stand? Are the racers at fault for trying to avoid the cobbles or are the course marshals/fans to blame?