Chris Froome has urged followers on social media to use the Dutch reach, after he was taken out by a car door on a recent training ride. The incident took place in Monaco near his home, leaving him with "a shredded elbow".
It had been "a lovely Sunday ride", said the four-time Tour de France winner, who rides for Israel-PremierTech. "But 500 metres before I got to my front door, I got doored," he told followers on TikTok, sporting a bandaged arm. "A parked car opened their door right in front of me – I didn't even make it to my brakes. I hit the door, went flying over," he said.
He went on to implore his 52,800 followers to use the Dutch reach technique when getting out of their cars. It involves using the hand furthest from the car door to open it, which automatically turns the body so you can check for approaching cars and bikes more easily. It also prevents the door from opening too far.
"You get to see if there's any traffic coming or, most importantly, any bikes coming," he quipped. "Use the Dutch reach. It's extremely helpful, and causes a lot less pain to us cyclists, and it's a very simple thing for you guys to do."
The Dutch reach has been popular in the Netherlands for decades, and has more recently gained traction in the UK. It is recommended by Cycling UK and was also incorporated in the recent changes to the Highway Code, which now recommends the technique.
It doesn't call it by name, but under rule 239 the Code states: "where you are able to do so, you should open the door using your hand on the opposite side to the door you are opening; for example, use your left hand to open a door on your right-hand side."
Following his terrible crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2019, Froome has been through enough crash-related trauma to last a career. It's not surprising the 37-year-old is hoping to mitigate the chances of any more, and if even a fraction of his fanbase take the advice, the roads just became a little bit safer.
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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields.
Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.
A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now in the past, although that doesn't stop him banging on tirelessly about "that one time" he nearly rode a 20-minute '10', and planning the big comeback that everyone knows will never actually happen.
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