Matteo Trentin has given his verdict on Chris Froome's proposal to ban time trial bikes from professional cycling, with the Italian agreeing that riding time trial bikes threatens cyclists' safety, but argues "the problem is the amount of people in cars today."
Froome - who was hospitalised in June 2019 after a high-speed crash into a wall while on a reconnaissance of the fourth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné - questioned the safety of time trial bikes in a YouTube video last week, following Egan Bernal's serious training crash with a bus at the end of January.
Wout van Aert has already called Froome's idea to use road bikes for time trials as "bulls***", while Trentin has argued cycling in general simply isn't safe with the amount of traffic on the roads.
Trentin represents riders as a member of professional competitive cyclist union CPA, attends UCI committee meetings and is also a regular exponent of improving safety within the sport.
The UAE Team Emirates rider told Cyclingnews: "Of course, the point of Chris of training on the road with the TT bike is correct, but I would add that it's not a TT bike problem; the problem is the traffic, the problem is the amount of people in cars today.
"Actually, even the small roads in the countryside can be dangerous, but it's not because you have a TT bike; it's because you have a bike. You're not protected from crashing into a car, and people are getting more and more anxious to pass a bike for basically no reason.
"It's actually a problem of how people are thinking sitting in a car, or maybe also sometimes how cyclists are thinking sitting on a bike. It has to be nicer. Sharing the roads has to be nicer than it is now."
The Italian argues that banning time trial bikes would do little to change the issues of safety in cycling. He instead claims that the attitudes of road users towards cyclists needs to change, affecting more than just professional riders.
“It's habit. You need to change people's minds and that takes a lot of time. It's not a pro cycling thing. We are a small fraction of the people biking on the road every day — a really, really small fraction.
“The bigger user of the roads on the bike are tourists or even kids going to school or people going to work, and we need to be more concerned about them than about us. It's our job, we know how to act on the road.
“Of course, an accident can be behind every corner, but if you see the statistics, it's like 99 percent of the people injured on bikes by traffic are normal people.”
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