Tom Pidcock has spoken about the possible role of training on time trial bikes as a factor in the crash which has put Ineos Grenadiers' teammate Egan Bernal in intensive care with a spate of career-threatening injuries.
The Colombian was training on his time trial bike in Colombia on Monday when he collided with a parked bus. Bernal's condition is improving but he remains in intensive care following multiple surgeries after the crash, which saw him fracture his vertebrae, femur, right patella, several ribs, as well as suffer chest trauma and a punctured lung.
Last June, Pidcock also crashed while riding his time trial bike, suffering a broken collarbone after being hit side-on by a driver as he was starting a descent in the French Pyrenees. New Ineos Grenadiers teammate Ben Turner suffered multiple facial fractures after crashing during the prologue at the Tour de l'Avenir last year.
Pidcock suggested that the "extreme" aerodynamic positions necessitated by time trial bikes are a factor in the crashes.
"I crashed on a time trial bike, Ben crashed on one in the L'Avenir and Egan's now crashed. It's getting quite extreme, the position. I think that's biggest causes of the crashes recently," he told Cyclingnews and other media from Arkansas as he prepares for this weekend's UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.
"I think a lot of accidents have happened on time trial bikes and I think that's something that we need to – you know, the positions are getting more and more extreme, and we spend more and more time trying to hold these positions where you don't necessarily see where you're going.
"And I think it's evident now that it's getting quite dangerous. I don't think we need to stop progression but we need to think about how it can be, how we can train in a safer way and also try and mitigate these crashes."
Pidcock said that Bernal's crash and his laundry list of serious injuries "touched a nerve" with him following his own accident last year. A number of riders and teammates have sent messages of support to Bernal in the days following his crash, and Pidcock was no different.
Pidcock said that the team will be fully behind the Colombian as he embarks on a long road to recovery comparable, in Pidcock's words, to Chris Froome's following his brutal Critérium du Dauphiné crash in 2019.
"It's terrible news. I mean it kind of touched a nerve if you like with me because after my crash on a time trial bike it just shows I know that it can go wrong so quickly," Pidcock said.
"And yeah, it's quite distressing to see really. I don't really know much more than anyone else. And, yeah, he's not in a good way, that's for sure. But at least he's stable, I guess."
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