Chris Froome has claimed the amount of data available in modern cycling now compared to when he first started as a professional in 2007 has made the sport more dangerous, though he also recognises that the standard of racing has also significantly improved as a result.
The four-time Tour de France winner previously suggested time trials should be raced on road bikes to improve safety, and he has continued this discourse by stating the technology teams now use during races makes the sport more dangerous than it used to be.
Using the example of team directors telling riders in real time about the conditions of the roads they're approaching, Froome suggests there is a huge fight for position, which isn't necessarily safe.
In a sponsor video for Quad Lock, Froome said: "It’s mental because it's the only sport in the world where someone says to you, ‘right guys, you’re going through this really narrow dangerous little village coming up, the road’s really tiny and there’s a small bridge with a corner straight after’, and it's the only sport that we actually go faster when you're told there's danger up ahead, because you want to be the ones to get there first.
"If you’re at the back, you’re going to be stuck in this backlog trying to get through the pinch point. It’s probably the only sport where someone tells you there’s danger up ahead and the pace lifts, fighting for positions. It’s mental.
“I think racing has, as a result of that, become more dangerous. Through having more data it’s basically made the race more dangerous. Previously we wouldn’t have known necessarily that each pinch point was there and there wouldn’t have been this massive scurry for position. We’d have just got there and all been more relaxed and got through it with no issues. But that’s changed quite a bit.”
While the Israel-Premier Tech rider is concerned rider safety is being sacrificed somewhat, he also understands that the performance levels of the peloton have significantly improved.
Froome suggests power meters have signified this shift in technological development, helping riders to race and train in a more controlled and data-driven way.
"Across the board we’ve seen a huge raise of the bar in terms of the general level of performance in professional cycling. The amount of data available through power meters and the collection and correlation of all that data means that performances now are lot more guided."
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