One reason can be the fact that there where handed out 7 wildcards = not really helping to set a benchmark in terms of that „riding in the pack“ quality - right ?
I made this observation elsewhere on the internet (lots of crashes) and was labelled a misogynist, so beware…
Certainly it’s been a ‘crashy’ race so far, though in fairness I can recall plenty of men’s races that were probably equally so (2021 TdF, maybe).
I suspect it’s simply very high stakes with consequent high nerves, a lot of ‘alpha’ behaviour and some silly risk taking (all also found in men’s racing).
Well maybe it’s the ZWIFT effect
Something that contributes is the top women’s teams are beyond alpha aggressive versus any teams/riders that don’t have their respect. Run into the ditch aggressive, literally. Mix with a whole bunch of what amount to semi-pro/amateur riders and…
I feel like the UCI should be required to keep track of the number of crashes and injuries. Offhand, it seems that there have been more crashes. But that could just be biased by the coverage.
Speculating why there have been more crashes is meaningless if you don’t know for sure that there have been more crashes, IMO.
Also worth pointing out that the men’s Tour that just finished was unusually clean, in terms of crashes. The few crashes there were weren’t particularly spectacular. So we might be carrying a little recency bias.
I think there was one particular stage, I believe second stage on monday that was particularly crashy, and most importantly, inexplicably crashy as the riders were leaving much more room between each others than the men typically do and tge roads weren’t particularly dangerous.
The other stages looked normal to me except for that big pile up yesterday. I am not saying pile ups cannot happen but clearly a lot of riders at the back had plenty of time to come to a complete stop but did not. I also saw riders swapping bikes to their leaders totally in the middle of the road while another would try going inbetween and crash. Looked like they handled the moments of panic very badly . But let’s remember Vinguegaard acting in an absurd manner too in the cobbled stage when he had a mechanical.
I read a few years ago that cars manufacturer implemented those emergency braking behavior on cars where the cars brake really hard when the foot hit it suddently. They did it because they observed that a lot of riders, but more frequently the women, are inconciously afraid about braking hard.
Other than that I don’t think it was significantly more crashy than the typical pro race and as said before this year TDF was unusually calm in that regard.
We should also take into account that the pro women field being much smaller in numbers it is only normal that the gap is higher both in term of physical ability and technical skills between the best and the worst riders.
Huge gap in experience/level of racing which you don’t see often at the WT level + usual anxiety and elevated fitness at the Tour.
There’s a reason when the days get shorter and they have to do a P123 mens field at the weeknight crit the 1/2s will drop thermo nuclear bombs the first few laps to shed the lesser Cat 3 Flotsam and Jetsam.
Aka the start of any cx race
Because they are women.
Seriously, just like the TdF, the intensity of the TDFFaZ is one or two notches up from any other race. Riders are on their limit, mistakes will be made. This would be the case, even if every team and every rider were WT experienced.
And whilst I’m not saying their are misogynistic people commenting on here (though, if the cap fits - wear it), there was a lot criticism elsewhere levelled out to the women’s peloton duing the closing stages of Stage 2. Suggestions of poor bike handling skills etc. with front wheels being washed out.
Yet, barely 4 days early Pogcar did the exaxt same thing, and no suggestion he can’t ride a bike.