Tour of Utah Crash, Ouch

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This is a crazy crash from Tour of Utah.  The corner was obviously very difficult, decreasing radius.  I’ve had this issue twice in my life.  Once, during the Coor’s Classic, I hit the La Vie Claire car that was stopped in the middle of a corner on a descent.  The other time in the Tour of Texas, I pegged the Campagnolo motorcycle that had stopped to service Doug Smith, who had crashed on  a corner.  The first time I was relatively unscathed.  The 2nd time I broke my arm.   Anyway, hope these guys are okay.  Link to injuries at Velonews.

Oh, thanks Ed Moore – I was winning the British Milk Race, then hit a car and pretty much destroyed myself.  Another American rider on the National Team, Andy Paulin hit it first, about a second before me.  Here is a link to the article and a picture of the automobile.  It wasn’t a Porsche.



How about this comment over at Youtube –  People can be incredibly insensitive sometimes.

crash copy


29 thoughts on “Tour of Utah Crash, Ouch

  1. ed moore

    Steve- lest we forget ,you and Andy Paulin at the British Milk Race in 85. Totaled the car as I recall. Couple of riders at the finish had seen it and thought you had been killed. Fortunately not…

  2. H Luce

    The first guy who hit the car – his line was going to go straight over the road and off the side of the road and into the red car parked at the side of the road. Something was messed up with that guy before he hit the white car.

  3. Ken

    Re the comment on YouTube: A female cyclist was killed in Boston Friday morning by a semi-truck taking a right turn at a busy intersection. The commenters on the websites carrying the news included one who celebrated “one less liberal cyclist,” another who declared “Darwin at work” and others who dismissed all cyclists as “jerks,” “dangerous,” “losers” etc. The victim was identified last night as a surgeon, native of Switzerland, who was on her way to work at Beth Israel hospital. She was riding in a marked bicycle lane.
    Never underestimate the hatred out there for cyclists, who, in the words of many of these people “don’t pay taxes but use our roads.” There are a lot of people out there who are extraordinarily angry at life (and my own observation is many of them are overweight guys driving their massive pickup trucks), but we’re the ones in their sights.

    1. JK

      This is why I gave up road biking and now only ride indoors. These accidents are happening way too often and sadly the addition of so called “bike lanes” means nothing to most motorists.

    2. The Cyclist

      Sometimes I wish I had an UZI strapped to my bike. With a lazer beam aim and a remote trigger on the bars.

      1. daveeckstrom

        But not atypical at all. Any time a cyclist is killed or injured go to the online report and read the comments. It’s amazing how much some people hate us. It’s scary when you realize that any one of these morons can kill any one of us on a country road with a complete lack of any consequence. Makes me consider putting my 0.357 in my jersey pocket.

      2. Wildcat

        Well, a .357 would be a little big for lycra. However, I routinely carry my M&P Bodyguard .380 auto. Alabama Holster makes a back pocket holster that works great for jersey pocket.

      3. H Luce

        Last time I checked, my group with my .45 Colt Compact Commander was 1.5 inches at 50 feet, but that’s two car lengths, and if they’re going 60 mph, that’s a snap shot. Past about 150 feet, it’s a real crap shoot. If you really want to carry a gun, strap a .308 rifle to your top tube – put a piece of tape over the muzzle, first. If you’re concerned about weight, get one of these: As for me, I choose not to carry, just keep a high state of situational awareness and be ready to ditch if need be. But if you’re going to carry a gun, you need to be able to reach out and touch someone, and a pistol won’t do that.

  4. Mark Kerlin

    I ride 5,000 miles a year, and am an x cat 2 on the road, and have won 3 alleycat races as a messenger. I’m raising my son to be a soccer player. Fuck this country and the way it treats cyclists. You can’t fight city hall. Cycling isn’t dangerous in places like Holland but in the US, it’s getting worse not better in the cities. I don’t want to see him get hurt like I have so many times on our roads, with our drivers, which together conspire to kill us like we’re unarmed black men in a beef with the cops.

    1. Ken

      I think there’s more than enough hate in this country to go around. It seems the entire culture thrives on it now. “President” Donald Trump, “Real Housewives of Whatever” and every other show featuring people in constant conflict, Comments sections on most news websites; everybody is hating on something or somebody, often as an apparent form of entertainment. And those crazy drivers? When they’re not trying to take out cyclists, they’re trying to take out each other. Be very careful out there, everyone!

  5. ExRider

    Just a complete idiot here. Completely out of control speed even before he tried to brake and lost traction with his rear tire. Woooo……This is fun…..I care about no ones life or my own!

  6. Andrew

    Steve and all,

    There’s a good discussion and dissection of the reasons behind the crash on /r/peloton.
    It’s a basically a blind-hair pin corner after a steep section of the descent. There are NO road signs letting you know it’s coming.

    “So it is really steep with a slight right bend leading up to the hairpin so it could definitely sneak up on you. According to strava it is between -10 and -18%.
    Here is the strava section:
    And the google maps:,-111.571,3a,75y,18.86h,58.64t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sv5RR-c3A-sOL5MSLT2LYkg!2e0!7i3328!8i1664

  7. Larry T.

    OUCH! A lot of stupidity combined in this turn from the wild descender who wouldn’t have likely made the corner and gone way off the road to the road placement of the various motorized vehicles in the race caravan. A LOT of people here need some talkin’ to by whoever’s in charge of this thing…preferably BEFORE they end up with a similar cluster-f__k in CO.

  8. joriverdog

    Steve…it seems to me that the team cars, motorcycles and riders were all mixed together on the descent…in the major tours they don’t allow vehicles to be mixed up like that. The cars were braking…there was a car on the right so riders could not line up outside then dive inside…This is the organizations fault for sure.

    1. Sean YD

      joriverdog: This is no different from a “major tour” where an assortment of vehicles mix with the cyclists. You might be thinking the front of the race, where cars are normally not seen, as they have been barraged on the climb. But this is toward the back and is no different than the situation seen regularly in the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a España, etc.

  9. Steve Tilford Post author

    Guys-I’ve only watched this a couple times, but don’t necessarily blame the rider. The corner looks crazy sketchy. Just look at the positions that the early riders are in, trying to negotiate the corner.

    That being said, the rider, Matt Brammeier, was going way too fast. But, there are reasons for that. He looks like he is trying to pass the caravan, that is in the right lane. He is obviously on the wrong line to make the corner and it going way, way too fast to even come close to being able to turn.

    But, he was trying to catch back on and didn’t know there was a corner there, so that is the reason. According to a lot of people, the corner wasn’t marked correctly, but whatever the reason, it was just really bad luck.

    The motorcycles stopping in the corner is a different deal. They needed to leave a line for the rest of the riders to negotiate the corner. The last two guys that hit the motorcycle should be pissed. They both avoided the first motorcycle, only to be left with no choice than to hitting another one.

    I’m surprised that more things like this don’t happen back in the caravan. It is so dangerous back there, but the teams seems to just think sending guys back to get bottles and drop off jackets is fine. I try to stay out of the caravan at all costs. Too many guys that don’t know how to drive in a race situation distracted. A recipe for disaster.

    Chasing back on, through the caravan, on a descent magnifies the risk 1000 times. Not a good thing.

    1. Erik MacDonald

      If you look at it frame by frame, Matt was going way fast into the corner, for whatever reason, and probably was lucky to hit the car when he did. If you watch, he was hammering his front brake, his rear wheel was up off the ground before the car was in the picture and he was far over on the inside of the corner. If the car hadn’t been there I’m betting he would have high-sided through the gravel on the outside apron and possibly gone into the woods.

      I’m not saying that it was his fault at all; just that from looking at only the video from this angle, in slow motion, it looks like he was darn lucky, as he hit the car sideways and was definitely going down one way or another. All in all, the side panel of the car was more forgiving than the pavement or gravel would have been.

      That being said, here’s hoping he recovers quickly!

  10. Bolas Azules

    Looked like team cars, motorcycles, riders and fans were falling down the decent like rain drops from the sky. No particular line, no particular plan just a random free fall. I’d love to hear the poor guy’s explanation as to what went wrong if there is one.

  11. Kx

    Matt was going into that corner at an insane speed. He would have ended up some where in the tree canopy if the car was not there. Not sure why a pro rider would go that fast while descending in the caravan. It is amazing how he didn’t get hurt worse. I do hope he makes a fast recovery. How did the two guys that hit the moto bike fair? Does anyone know?

  12. krakatoa

    One of the reasons I’d never want to be a professional bike racer. You’re expected to go back to the car to fetch crap for other guys, no matter what terrain is oncoming. And you’d damn well better get the hell back up to the peloton. If you don’t make it back, you’re not much use to the team. I think that could damn well explain Matt’s eagerness to go so quickly down a descent. The descent is where some ballsy riding can reel-in a lot of lost ground with very little energy output. Let me put it this way, if you’re a pro, you’re expected NOT to descend like a pussy. I can only imagine the terror he must have felt once he cleared the bend just before the hairpin. He knew he wasn’t going to make that turn!

    As far as the moto, I say give him a break. Everyone who uses a road (whether in a bike race or not) needs to adhere to the basic safety rule. Never ride faster than what is safe for the conditions. If you’re going around blind turns, you already know that there is always the possibility of a crash up ahead. If you decide to gamble for the sake of making up lost ground, then you should live with the consequences of going into the turns so fast. As much a you think you are “owed” a course free of obstacles, I can assure you that t will never be guaranteed. So quit expecting it.

    I remember once at Manhattan Beach where we had a nasty crash in 1984, only to come around the next lap and find a friggin ambulance smack dab in the middle of the road just past that short rise on the backstretch. Totally friggin blind! And yeah, a bunch of people hit that ambulance too. But I had an idea that it could /would be there, and I was sure to hang out on the correct side of the street next few times around. I stayed upright.

  13. Gilberto Ravioli

    A few points:

    -Your old Milk-Ras story you linked is next-level legendary awesome.

    -After watching the Matt Brammeir video again (after not having the stomach to for the last 24 hours) I’m simply glad the dude is alive. (lets ALL be just a bit safer out there)

    -The denizens of Hell would find most of those youtube comments repulsive, repugnant, and reprehensible. Not representative of the whole of humanity <—-difficult, but important to remember.

    -Tommy D. is a douche. but even he , as our cycling brother, is forgivable. To quote the great George Dubya-Walker Texas-Ranger Bush "Fool me once. shame on you. fool me twice… ….we won't get fooled again. …third times the charm?".

    – The bridge by Lachlan Morton and Horner on Empire yesterday was bad-ass .Inspiring. Made me want to RIDE HARD (I didn't).. Dombrowski, cool cat. Mike Woods, bad ass berzerker-style climbing. Berhane, dude could win a Grand Tour someday, needs to lose 5 to do it. (lbs. not kilos)

    – My beers are strong and Your Captcha math is starting to look daunting….


  14. The Cyclist

    My take is that Brammer should be banned from racing for at least 2 years and be sent off to some riding skills school. To lack ability to read the road and handle the bike accordingly is way worse than takin some PEDS. Both things make you go a litte too fast… only that taking PEDS don’t put anyone else in danger, unlike reckless descending. Today’s helmet rules are not making things better either, only inspiring some riders to ride like idiots.

  15. Carlos F

    Brammeier is a very experienced pro. Raced World Tour with HTC and Omega_pharma, 5x national champ, won a stage at STER ZLM Toer this year. Very few riders in the race more experienced.


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