Carambolage!

I love watching cycling but I hate seeing anyone fall, it makes me feel sick to my stomach. You see, I’m not too good with blood, mine or anyone else’s, the mere sight of it makes me feel very faint. I go green, need to put my head between my knees and take great gulps of oxygen. This is somewhat unfortunate as I generally give the impression that I’m someone you could rely upon in an emergency and I am, providing there’s no blood or tangled limbs.

One of the participants in the recent Brevet Kivilev came to grief on the run in to the finish. He was cut up by a car coming in the opposite direction and ended up leaving vast swathes of skin on the road. Worryingly, as he was lying in 3rd position, he was just behind the lead car and two motorcycle outriders, the former bearing a large sign saying ” Take Care Cyclists” which must have been totally ignored by the oncoming vehicle. Calling upon his paramedic skills, M le President bandaged him up before sending him to outpatients.

Another local rider and M le President both came to grief this week end. While neither broke anything, they seem to have cornered the market in sticky plaster, both suffering severe road rash and contusions to their right sides.  I was called upon to sympathise and inspect their various war wounds, fortunately well after the event.

Yesterday, there was a huge pile-up in the sprint for the line in the Tour of Switzerland. Cavendish swerved into Haussler, taking them both down, and then the riders behind piled into them. There was a picture of the event in today’s L’Equipe and you can see the looks of dawning horror on the faces of the riders behind Cav and Haussler as they comprehend exactly what is about to befall them.  As someone who has a significant amount of experience of falling off things, I can confirm that it’s best to be first. Generally, one minute you’re where you’re supposed to be and the next minute you’re on the ground. Often without knowing how you’ve gotten there because it’s all happened so quickly: no time to react. The problem with knowing what’s about to happen is that you naturally tense and try, generally in vain, to take evasive action. In addition, the whole thing seems to happen in slow motion. The end result is generally worse injuries than those that caused the incident: and so it was.

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