Paris Roubaix Near Miss with TGV

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by Stonesourscotty, 12 Apr 2015.

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  1. Stonesourscotty

    Stonesourscotty Member

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    The BBC are reporting a near miss between the Peleton of the Paris Roubaix Cycling Race and a TGV with some riders jumping the barrier as the TGV approached http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/32278898
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 12 Apr 2015
  2. Hornet

    Hornet Member

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    Watched it happen live on Eurosport. Waited for the splattering of some of the world's finest cyclists on the front of an, admittedly not very fast TGV. Added to the excitement though.:)
     
  3. greatkingrat

    greatkingrat Established Member

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    Video of the incident

    [youtube]nA-84SIFnSo[/youtube]
     
  4. duesselmartin

    duesselmartin Member

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    also seen it on Eurosport. Are there legal consequences for the riders/teams/organisers?
    The German language commentry was not very intelligent on this subject.
     
  5. Hornet

    Hornet Member

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    It's up to the Commisaires to impose sanctions on any rider who ignores any level crossing signals. There was a Motorcycling Gendarme trying to stop some of the riders crossing, but to no avail. Has to be pointed out though that on the this particular stretch of the Paris Roubaix, the main line is crossed on the flat at least three times, once on the approach to the Arenberg. SNCF would be well aware of the situation, which is why the TGV would be travelling so slowly. Level crossing incidents happen quite a lot in Cycling, and in some of the biggest races, (the Tour, Vuelta and Giro, as well as the Classics). The National Police will be advising the teams of their responsibilities, as well as the organisers. Not much else will happen.
     
  6. Groningen

    Groningen Established Member

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  7. Hornet

    Hornet Member

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    Not going to happen. Most of the Monuments, Spring Classics and Grand Tours have LC's on their routes. It's part of the sport and there are rules if the break away is ahead of the pelaton, (Commissaires will slow the break to allow for the time gap to be regained). Only the Brits go overboard, (Starbeck LC closed to Trains for the Tour last year). It's the same nuts 'elf and safety that stops me watching the TT from spots that I have been spectating from for decades. Europeans far more relaxed about these sort of things. Will not be long before we are not allowed to leave our front door without our Hi-vis jackets on. Must make sure the sheeple are safe.
     
  8. DownSouth

    DownSouth Established Member

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    A track cyclist could do a whole qualifying time trial in the time that passed between the last cyclist crossing and the train coming through. Only in Britain could that possibly be considered a "near miss."

    Some of those who went through actually did the right thing, the alternative being to be brought down in a big pileup spread all over the crossing. There is a lot of communication that goes on in a group of cyclists riding together to keep each other from coming down in a bunch stack, if there are riders behind you you need to call "stopping" before grabbing a fistful of brake.

    For the record, the UCI does have rules on how to resolve the impact on the sporting outcome of a race if cyclists in the lead of a race are held up by a level crossing:
    2.3.035 (4) allows the commissaires to hold the front part of a group which is broken up by the crossing closing when they are partway through, if they judge that as necessary to prevent it affecting the race outcome. This was not necessary tonight (no serious contenders were held up in this incident, which happened well after the sorting out of the Arenberg sector) but I do remember one funny case a couple of years ago where the crossing closed mid-pack with two teams having almost their whole squads ahead of the split and everyone else delayed
    Or just organise for no trains to go through during the passage of the race over those crossings - like we manage to do for the Tour Down Under where I'm a race official despite up to four different rail infrastructure operators being involved over the course of the week. Just like the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix, the Tour Down Under is also part of the UCI WorldTour which is cycling's equivalent of Formula 1 and so serves as a good example that races at the same level can be properly coordinated where there is the will to do so.

    For the amount of money that it brings into the region, such a measure should be fairly reasonable. It would also be fairly easy to organise, given that the progress of the race leaders can usually be predicted within a +/- 5% margin.

    Three years ago, the Steamranger heritage railway on the south coast even negotiated to turn the TDU into an advertising opportunity. They organised for one of their level crossings to be deactivated so a steam-hauled train could be sitting right next to the crossing awaiting the passage of the race and (more importantly) the TV cameras sending it to over a hundred countries around the world.

    The UCI commissaires may disqualify some of those riders they identified as going through, which will consequently cause them to lose prizemoney and (if in the top placings) points towards the UCI individual rankings, the team rankings that have some bearing on team promotion/relegation, and the national rankings which determine the size of teams for the Road World Championships in September.

    The SBS commentators (who know the sport better than the Eurosport morons) were keeping fairly close track of the main contenders and believe they were in the group which went through the crossing before the group which had the barrier come down on them, so there shouldn't be any change to the top 10 results.

    The local police will probably decide that the financial consequences of the sporting penalty are good enough without any action on their side. They may not even have the jurisdiction to hand out traffic penalties, given that it was a race taking place on closed roads.

    Pressure should be placed on the race organisers, the local government authorities (major sponsors of the event in their own right) and the rail operator to sort out some better coordination for such a major event - ideally prior to the passage of the Tour de France through the region in July.
     
    Last edited: 12 Apr 2015
  9. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    That's not really the point though is it? The last cyclist probably doesn't know how long the barriers have been down and probably none of the cyclists know how long it will be after the barriers come down before the train arrives. There is also the risk that people watching come away with the belief that it is safe to ignore the warnings when out cycling on an open road.

    It should also be strictly forbidden to cross level crossings when the warning sequence is operating, before the barriers come down. Some level crossings don't have barriers, and with those that do the barriers will start to descend and lead to the sort of panic that could result in a pile-up. Rather an obvious defect in the rules.

    I would hope everyone who violated the rules in this incident is at the very least barred from the remainder of the race, and the authorities make sure this is well publicised around the cycling fraternity.
     
  10. DownSouth

    DownSouth Established Member

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    From the aerial shot, it looked to me like the last rider through was pushed from behind and had to choose between crashing (potentially onto the crossing) or going.

    Level crossing procedures are certainly a part of the briefings given to competing teams by local organisers when any major cycling event is put on, including WorldTour races such as the Tour de France, Paris-Roubaix and the Tour Down Under. At the TDU, teams are advised that they should carry on if they are on a training ride (the race stages have the crossings kept open) and the lights/bells come on when they are already within 50 metres, based on our crossings having six seconds of lights/bells before the barriers start coming down.

    The UCI rules are general rules written for races all over the world, and are not intended to detail the specifics of how every different race will operate. The specifics, including how the rules will be interpreted and applied for the event, are up to the Race Director, the Chief Commissaire and (at WorldTour and World Cup events only) the Technical Delegate to determine and communicate prior to the event.

    This applies to all the racing rules, not just the level crossing rules. For example, the procedures to be followed at the finish of Paris-Roubaix (where the finish is with a lap and a half of the Roubaix Velodrome) will be very different to the People's Choice Classic in Adelaide where it's a fully lined circuit with track discipline procedures more like that of a professional motorsport event.

    The race is already over (it was a one day race, not a stage) and the most that can be expected is that some riders will be retroactively disqualified.
     
  11. Hornet

    Hornet Member

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    No sanction for any rider.

    http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/04/news/roubaix-riders-have-near-miss-with-tgv_366300
     
  12. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Disgraceful. What message does this send out? Or are the organisers just covering their backs after their own dangerous incompetence?

    Quotes below from link above:

    The red lights would have come on first to give warning before the barriers came down. This must happen, otherwise the barriers would be wiped out every few hours when they came down on a passing motor vehicle.

    Either they weren't instructed to obey the red lights or they ignored the instruction (and common sense). If they couldn't see the lights then someone should have been in position beforehand to warn them - but this is unlikely given that the lights are intended to be visible to approaching traffic.

    Are they seriously suggesting some of the riders were unidentifiable? How in that case do they protect against numerous other forms of cheating that might take place?
     
  13. fsmr

    fsmr Member

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    In the Uk papers now


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ossing-Sir-Bradley-Wiggins-Sky-road-race.html


    I know that the CICLE classic I help to marshal in Rutland and East Leics has to cross the Syston Peterborough line part way into the race, but they somehow have managed to avoid any conflicts with the rail traffic partly due to being a Sunday with lighter movements. It would be a nightmare otherwise if there was a 10 minute break I would guess. I am staggered that a TGV line has a level crossing TBH. The thought of hitting a truck at TGV speeds is not worth contemplating. As we know in the UK at much lower speeds a car on the tracks can cause death and destruction to an HST occupants and driver
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I agree. If identifiable, they should all be disqualified at the very least - by gross idiocy and probably breaking a number of laws they have gained an advantage over their fellow competitors.
     
  15. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Is the location on an actual LGV though? Most TGV mileage is on conventional track off the LGVs. I've crossed a lot of level crossings in a TGV on the line to Lourdes from Bordeaux.
     
  16. Groningen

    Groningen Established Member

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    The number 5 in the results waited for the gates; so it was not crucial at the finish. As far as i know the cyclist that crossed the closed gates had to wait for the cyclist that waited for the gates.
     
  17. kermit

    kermit Member

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    The English language commentator on the version I saw / heard also deserves censure, for treating the whole thing as a joke, then making the mindbendingly stupid observation that "thankfully the train has slowed down". He should be made to watch the difference between a TGV hitting a bike at 60 mph and 30mph ie none whatsoever.

    The commentary typified the moronic approach of "sport bubble" folk who somehow think their pursuits make them immune from the responsibilities of real life - see also boxing, and the collusion of some rugby coaches to bypass rules about taking a player off immediately if they lose consciousness.
     
  18. fsmr

    fsmr Member

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    Should have been totally managed by a risk assessment which would anticipate a train arriving mid race and if it couldn't be avoided a plan in place.
    I.e race stopped and broken up over that section prior to the LC so that there was no bearing on results and should have had marshalls or police waiting at the location to handle the barriers closing which I noticed are AHB type, so shorter duration closed, and reference earlier post cant be on a TGV line although I dont know what the max line speed would be in France on a non TGV line
     
  19. Hornet

    Hornet Member

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    Risk assessment and the French is a bit of an oxymoron. There were Police at all LC's as well as travelling Motorcycle Police. These things happen regularly in cycle races all over Europe. Rail operating staff on that particular line would be well aware that the biggest one day cycle race in France, (which has been a near annual event since 1896), could well affect any service they operate. The fact that the TGV was travelling so slowly, (it's not an LGV line), is that there would have been large crowds moving away from the Arenberg section over another LC, less than 2Km away. Anyway I prefer my sport with a bit of danger. Far better than watching 22 highly overpaid morons kicking a pigs bladder about, and rolling around like they have been shot when someone touches them. Life is about living and not worrying about 'Risk Assessments'. We are all going to die sooner or later. Might as well happen when you are doing something that is your passion.
     
  20. Groningen

    Groningen Established Member

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    It seems i have found the TGV. Fingers crossed, but i think it is the 14.15 from Valenciennes; arriving in Paris Nord at 16.19. It is TGV 7136.
     
  21. SpacePhoenix

    SpacePhoenix Established Member

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    Needs to be a minimum of a 10 year ban for those that either cut across or tried to.

    If the train had hit any could the bikes going under the train wheels derail the train at all? If that was a possibility then it should be a life ban for the riders involved.
     
  22. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Certainly not! The bike would be crushed effortlessly (in a similar way that an insect on the road wouldn't destabilise a bike ;))
     
  23. ScotGG

    ScotGG Member

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    Message to the public you mean? Surely you don't think someone watches it and then thinks next time out on a bike that yes, I will ride through today as I watched someone on the TV do it? Come on, people aren't that stupid. Most of the rest of the world realises that and doesn't go mad on H&S. The British alone go so nuts trying to protect any half wit at a great cost to everyone else by closing level crossings inconveniencing all and taking money away from being spent on better things.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Exactly. I think quite a few people in Britain would have a heart attack if they ended up in other developed nations where they don't mollycoddle everyone. Furiously writing out risk assessments while the locals look puzzled and get on with life, spending their time and money on more important things.
     
  24. GB

    GB Established Member

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    Thats kind of ironic!
     
  25. kermit

    kermit Member

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    Tragically so!
     
  26. Sindicat

    Sindicat New Member

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    Not sure they could be prosecuted. I'm told, although I've not researched the detail, that cyclists in France have immunity from prosecution.
    I've experienced them trying to mow me down as I cross on a green signal, and at same time cause motorist negotiating junction on green light to brake sharply as they sail through the red light.
    I'm sure this doesn't apply to all, but there is an element of the French cycling community that has no consideration for other road users.
     
  27. oversteer

    oversteer Member

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    One of the worst things for me was the presumption that once the train had passed, it was safe to go before the barriers went up. For all they know there could have been an approaching train on the other side, masked by the first train.
     
  28. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Indeed. And in this country the relatives of people who make that sort of assumption and ignore barriers and cross anyway, can blame it on the infrastructure provider for not preventing their stupidity :roll:

    Presumably the French legal system and blame culture isn't as bonkers as ours?
     
  29. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    That seems to be something that they consider of particular importance in France - many (all?) level crossing have a warning sign "Un train peut cacher un autre" (Litteral: one train can hide another) as there was a thought 'ah, the train has gone through, we're good to go now'

    It was disappointing to see the events yesterday. While I accept that a professional cycling race is very different to driving a car on a normal road, it does not give off a good example at all.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    The SNCF has today decided to press charges in relation to this.

    Link (French only): http://sport24.lefigaro.fr/le-scan-...un-passage-a-niveau-lors-de-paris-roubaix.php

     
    Last edited by a moderator: 13 Apr 2015
  30. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    they try to schedule the race (which in this case is on a Sunday) with regard to the timetables; however I believe there was a delay to the start which mucked things up. UCI rules are often clear yet not applied well.

    Obviously not an LGV; they don't have level crossing at all.
     
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