Matthew Dinham, Sam Bennett, Cesare Benedetti and Pavel Bittner on the asphalt 34 km from Sanremo
A few days ago we stigmatized the risked accident at Paris-Nice with the car that broke into the course on the wrong side (compared to the riders who were downhill), and with a potentially shocking hitch avoided by who knows what case.
Today we find ourselves commenting on a fact of even greater gravity if possible, because if it can be understood as a possibility that an unaware person, coming out of a garage, could find himself on a race course (and one cannot expect that a race organization guards all the private gates along a route), it is absolutely impossible to conceive (nor forgive) what we have seen this afternoon during the Milan-Sanremo 2023.
We are 34 km from the finish line in via Roma, at the entrance to the town of Imperia, and it is time for yet another crash of the day (it won’t be the last). There is a low signal on the left hand side of the road, near a set of traffic lights, just before a bicycle rack. This sign is not signaled nor protected, but left… to the free interpretation of the arriving cyclists…
How it is possible that the runners positioned from the middle of the group down are able to see the obstacle and all of them avoid it is a concept that pertains more to science fiction than anything else. How anyone could have thought that, a funny mystery. In fact it’s easier to imagine that bass signal + rack combo being his own escaped the race marshals, to the UCI, to the trade union ones, to the organizers, to the traffic policemen of Imperia who at least could have warned the RCS Sport “road traffic policemen”. A clamorous organizational fault which – once again – only by pure chance did not cause worse troubles than those which occurred to the four riders who punctually crashed at that point.
At Bora-Hansgrohe Sam Bennett got away with scratches and bruises while Cesare Benedetti broke his collarbone. No problems, apart from blows and dents, for the two DSMs involved, Matthew Dinham and Pavel Bittner.
Just yesterday the new president of the CPA (the international union of cyclists) took office, Adam Hansen. We would be curious to hear his opinion on the matter. More than anything because lately we’ve been pushing fate a little too much and the dead man will end up running away from us.