Disclaimer: the cyclist in the crash lived, and despite horrific injuries was “alert and stable Saturday evening” according to ABC News. So that means jokes are cool. In the case of fatalities the rule is 20 years then you’re good. JFK jokes for instance, totally fair game.

While everyone was sharing this video and debating the finer points of support vehicle logistics, what no one mentioned was how awesome roadies aren’t at descending.

Forget the guy who goes to the hospital, he’s just a symptom of a much larger condition, and by no means the only rider out of control. Almost every rider comes in hot, straight, and late. At first I gave them the benefit of the doubt. This turn probably comes out of nowhere, maybe after a blind bend in the road, right?

Look at the video again: right off the bat you see four roadies in a row riding inside the double yellow and coming in hot like Fort Lauderdale in July, aka no hope or prayer of making the turn. They all predictably blow through the turn, brake through, and exit with zero speed. After four unique interpretations of “oh shit,” the next guy into the corner is some random support vehicle driver, and in terms of descending IQ he looks like Sam Hill compared to the roadies he’s supposed to deliver wheels and water bottles to.


Roadie guy: moments away from blowing the double yellow and his multiple car-length lead.
Driver guy: dialed.

Roadie guy: about to blow across another road stripe, not even halfway through the corner.
Driver guy: looking to apex 20 feet inside of roadie guy.

Roadie guy: finally discovered the concept of turning.
Driver guy: passing fools.

Roadie guy: literally just noticed that driver guy is pulling him.
Driver guy: Gone.

Let’s compare and contrast that with heli-trip crash guy moments before impact. Yikes:

Even more yikes:

For sure that guy was going to the hospital, car impact or not. Maybe next year the support driver that knew how to turn can give out descending lessons for all the racers prior to the event. Maybe they can follow him down a few descents and learn his lines and braking points. Throw some cones in and call it a clinic.

Let’s put this in context, too. The guys we’re watching in this video are not Lance or Alberto or Peter. This isn’t le Tour, it isn’t even Amgen. These are the domestic pros racing the Tour of Utah who just got their doors blown off in the climb. Maybe if they push it on the descent they can make up the huge gap between them and the guys who actually make a living on their bikes.

Basically, they’re the roadie equivalent of me. They just got smoked, again, they’re way off the back now, and they’re hoping that a double dose of trying harder might dig them out of the hole they’re in.

Spoiler alert: it won’t.

42 thoughts on “Skillz

  1. Charlie, I get really worried when you don't make any posts for two or three weeks. I start thinking maybe you O.D.'ed in the van – or maybe your in lock down cuz you were trying to get the Zumo across the border or something. And I know the Baron and P-Funk never make posts, so don't let this blog take a belly flop just cuz Wil White keeps leaving mean comments

  2. You would have as much chance of even making it to that descent as Ted Cruz has of getting elected President.

    Kill yourself

  3. The message from this post is clear. Next stop: ROADIEVILLE!

    And during Crankworx, no less.

    Go try to sidle your way in to get another windbreaker. Your last.

  4. Moto dude at :40 gets in the way and hit by two riders, then flees the scene. Rough group out there around the skinny tire scene.

  5. “While other riders braked and took caution when coming down the hill to turn the corner, Brammeier descended at full speed without displaying any intention of turning the corner.” -ABC News

  6. hey charlie, you missed the best point.
    Look that clip again…. at 0:43.
    Thats the most “i don't give a shit” performance you will ever see when the motorcycle-rider just leaves the scene after 2 roadies crashed into him.

  7. Didn't watch the video but the screen grabs look like he did a sick scandi flick into enduro nose manny turn. Dude is legit

  8. As an ex-roadie I was gonna get all defensive and point to when Brian Lopes got smoked by a roadie in the Red Bull Road Rage downhill race a million years ago, but then I saw the video and yeah, if your brakes are working and that's your tactic, there's no excuse.

  9. @Anon 8:22

    Lopes got smoked by a guy named Dave McCook who was/still is notoriously the most out of control, dangerous roadie anyone in Norcal has ever raced against. I've seen him tokyo drift a road bike across botts dots, throw elbows and crash into a sidewalk, break his hand, take his free lap and then contest the field sprint (“to pay for the hospital bills for his hand” according to him), all in the same race. I'm not totally convinced he wasn't huffing glue before races. Getting beat by him in a descent proves nothing besides Lopes didn't want to die that day.

    Anyway, semi-pro US road racing is maybe even worse off than DH when it comes to scraping the bottom of the athlete barrel, and USAC makes sure of that with their retarded upgrade policies. It's a sport where genetic freaks with a V02max of 104 and zero athletic ability can spend 20 hours a week climbing hills and go from cat 5 to pro in like 2 seasons. Then they get strapped to a 14lb machine designed for zero drag and go hurtling into a canyon with cork brake pads. What the fuck could go wrong?

  10. @Splooge

    I was thinking about Miles Rockwell (who i only know of from the results sheet), but, good story.

    On TWO separate occasions I witnessed the same individual (fitting your last description) crash out of road races just by getting out of the saddle to sprint and immediately flopping sideways onto the pavement. Unfortunately the first of those I was in a line right behind him.

  11. “Brammeier was involved in an accident in November 2007, when he was struck by a cement mixing lorry whilst training. He broke both his legs but returned to cycling retaining his contract with Profel in Belgium.” -Wikipedia

  12. Hey, there are literally dozens of mtn bikers who make enough money riding to only have to work during the winter in some shitty seasonal job. And they def have sweet 1 bedroom apts! If you can dream it you can do it!

  13. ^^to add random to random, these bottom of the barrel duffer road pros that nobody hears about actually have a basic salary (if they are continental pro), that's higher than 95% of the EWS guys. That's hilarious.

  14. You don't update this shit for weeks, then, after Gwin does what he does and the Whistler EWS actually cuts out the climbing you whined about…you drop a post about a road race? Wtf?

  15. You don't update this shit for weeks, then, after Gwin does what he does and the Whistler EWS actually cuts out the climbing you whined about…you drop a post about a road race? Wtf?

  16. I was starting to worry about charlie, and during a moment I thought he wasn't updating this blog because he was training hard…
    Now I guess he just spent some extra time looking for a new job

  17. You lost post could have been a perfect ending to the Carter. But then you went and did this?

  18. Hey i was wondering : When you put a grain of sand in an Oyster, it makes a pearl. What happens with grain of sand in a vagina?

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