Adverse Weather Protocol. A fresh proposal.
Tour champion Chris Froome is justifiably peeved about the riders union (CPA) suggesting the brother of the Tour de Romandie race oraganizer as the rider rep on any Adverse Weather negotiations in that same exact race.
Seriously folks, that’s insane and embasrrassing. This is the same riders union that finally woke up and started making a few pronouncements about rider safetly. They’ve moved beyond the hot air stage. Until this week, that is.
This on the heels of Giro d’Italia Gavia legend Andy Hampsten openly worrying about the adverse weather protocol making the racing less legendary. He’s for rider safely but then again, what happened to epic and death defying?
Those two stories renind us all once again that getting agreement from all stakeholders on the fly in fast changing weather conditions is an impossible task. One rider’s dangerous conditions are another mans victory lap – looking at you Vincenzo Nibali.
No protocol is disagreement-proof. It’s been a high intensity debate from Paris-Nice to Catalunya to Liege Bastogne Liege to the prologue – or as somebody at Cannondale called it – the snowlogue of the Tour of Romandie. Which makes Twisted Spoke think that maybe we should all just scrap the Adverse Weather Prologue in favor of an approach that solves all the arguments and interpretations and weather shifts in one fell swoop.
Done, forever dusted.
Our idea is the Adverse Weather Bike. All riders and their teams would bring an extra bike designed just for rain, snow and ice. Wider rims and tires, fenders front and back, lights on the bars and seat post. In short, a bike built for adverse weather conditions. No more tackling a descent on a snowy mountain road of a twitchy, skinny tire bike.
Now there is no reason to ever cancel a stage and the racing will always be legendary. A boatload of epic. Everyone simply switches to the Adverse Weather Bikes and away we go. No need to worry about changes in the weather, treacherous roads, last hour race cancellations and a higher percentage of crashes.
Better yet, what bike company like Specialized, Trek or Giant wouldn’t like to showcase another kind of bike – part gravel grinder, part WorldToru all-conditions safety-focused fat bike? This is a win-win for rider safety and bike manufactures.
And why wouldn’t the UCI go for the Adverse Weather Bike? It’s yet another bike for them to set rules for and charge for and double check for violations. It’s another justification for the need of the UCI in pro cycling. A classic back-scratch relationship.
We think the UCI, riders union, race organizers and all other stakeholders need to think outside the box and past the weasther report. The solution isn’t more comical climatological debate. It isn’t arguing over what’s too cold, too wet, too slippery, too covered in snow and ice.
All that nonsense goes away with the introduction of the Adverse Weather Bike. People’s lives and livelihoods are at stake. Let’s think big people.