Race Information

One-Day-Classic

Date: March 20th-21st, 2024

World-Tour and WWT

Organiser: KVC Panne Sportief

Start: Brugge

Finish: De Panne

About Safe Cycling Report

Introduction

This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the safety aspects of a prominent cycling race. It aims to dissect the intricacies involved in planning and executing a race that is not only competitive but also ensures the well-being of all riders.

OBJECTIVE

The primary objective is to identify potential risks, and propose actionable solutions to mitigate these dangers. By enhancing safety protocols, we aim to safeguard the health of riders, support staff, and spectators, thereby elevating the overall race experience.




ANALYSIS

Our analysis hinges on evaluating various components such as course layout, weather conditions, obstacle management, and safety plans. We assess past incidents, feedback from participants, and best practices in sports event management to form a holistic view of the race’s safety landscape.

DATA

Data collection encompasses race archives, weather reports, incident logs, and participant surveys. This rich dataset forms the foundation of our safety audit, enabling us to pinpoint vulnerabilities and recommend targeted interventions for future editions of the race.



Methodology

THE RIDERS​


Engaging in discussions with riders and teams to gather their insights. Our surveys have compiled initial data directly from these key stakeholders, ensuring their experiences and concerns are incorporated into our planning.



CRASH DATABASE

Utilizing a detailed database to analyze past crashes, identifying common locations and causes. This enables us to pinpoint high-risk areas and devise strategies to mitigate potential accidents.


ORGANISERS


Conducting weekly meetings with race organizers to receive their feedback and incorporate their knowledge into our safety measures. This continuous dialogue helps to align our safety strategies with the specific needs of each event.



SAFE CYCLING

Applying our vast experience gained from over 1000 days of racing to enhance road safety. Our expertise in cycling safety is instrumental in developing effective prevention and response strategies.


OTHERS

Gathering inputs from various stakeholders within the sport, including official bodies, local authorities, and the cycling community at large. This holistic approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of all possible safety concerns and solutions.


Evaluation

SAFETY EVALUATION

This document provides an in-depth analysis of the course, identifying obstacles and potential risks.


SAFE CYCLING MAP

A comprehensive map detailing the placement of safety equipment, warning systems, and other preventive measures to ensure the well-being of participants and spectators.”


POST-RACE EVALUATION

Focuses on reviewing the events that occurred during the race, identifying both successes and areas for improvement. This includes assessing the effectiveness of the safety measures implemented, gathering feedback from participants, teams, and officials on the course layout and safety protocols, analyzing incident reports to enhance future race safety, and recommending adjustments based on observed outcomes.

Safety Index

COMING SOON

COMING SOON

COMING SOON

COMING SOON

POST-RACE EVALUATION

COMING SOON

Risk Evaluation

Introduction

Welcome to Safe Cycling’s Safety Plan

Hello and a warm welcome from the team at Safe Cycling! Thank you for choosing us as your partner in ensuring a safe and competitive racing experience. Our mission is to provide you with the most effective safety strategies, leveraging state-of-the-art technology and data analytics to protect every participant on the race day,

Our Approach: At Safe Cycling, we combine our passion for cycling with a rigorous approach to safety. Using Looker Studio, we visualize our data and findings in an accessible and interactive format, enabling us to tailor our safety measures to the specific challenges of each race.


Race Analytics

Men Race

2019: Marked by dry conditions with low winds, under mostly cloudy skies. The race concluded with a large group sprint.

2020: Held in October instead of the usual spring schedule, experiencing rainy and windy conditions. A solo breakaway 4 km from the finish resulted in victory, with smaller groups trailing. Four crashes occurred during the race.

2021: Similar to 2023, with an average temperature of 11.5°C but dry conditions and medium wind speeds averaging 17.1 km/h. Clear weather with passing clouds characterized the race, ending in a large group sprint with four crashes.

2022: Warmer conditions prevailed with an average temperature of 16°C and dry surfaces. Low winds averaging 13.1 km/h contributed to sunny conditions with passing clouds. The race concluded with a large group sprint, recording five crashes.

2023: Noted for average temperatures of 11°C, wet surface conditions, and high winds averaging 32.1 km/h under drizzly and foggy weather. The race concluded with a sprint from a small group, with four crashes recorded.


Women Race

2018: Victory was clinched in a sprint of a large group, with an average speed of 39.17 km/h.

2023: A 7 km solo breakaway secured victory with an average speed of 38.048 km/h.

2022: The race ended in a sprint of a large group, with an average speed of 42.07 km/h.

2021: Victory was achieved with a 12 km solo breakaway, averaging 39.164 km/h.

2020: A sprint finish of a small group marked the end, with an average speed of 42.68 km/h.

2019: The race concluded with a sprint of a large group, averaging 41.757 km/h.


How it was won – Men

2018: Sprint of 19 riders

2019: Sprint of large group

2020: 4 km solo (1 rider alone)

2021: Sprint of large group

2022: Sprint of large group

2023: Sprint of small group


How it was won – Women

2018: Sprint of 19 riders

2019: Sprint of large group

2020: 4 km solo (1 rider alone)

2021: Sprint of large group

2022: Sprint of large group

2023: Sprint of small group


Crash Data Men

We have no crash data from 2018 and 2019.

Crash Data Women

We have no crash data from 2018 and 2021.

Startlist quality

Startlist quality

Race Predictions (1 month before)

Race Dynamics and Weather Impact Analysis (2019-2023)

Bunch Sprint Probability:

Dry Conditions, Low Wind: High likelihood (70%) of bunch sprint.

Wet Conditions, High Wind: Reduced chance (20%) of bunch sprint.


Probability of High Winds Leading to Smaller Groups or Solo Breakaways:

High Winds: Likely (60%) to see smaller groups or solo breakaways.

Low Winds: Lower chance (20%) of smaller groups or solo breakaways.


Effect of Wet Surface on Race Dynamics:

Wet Surfaces: Present in 50% of races, leading to cautious riding and altered outcomes.

Dry Surfaces: Occur in 30% of races, promoting aggressive racing and higher speeds.


High Wind Safety Plan

Threshold: If the wind speed exceeds 25 km/h, especially in exposed areas or key segments of the race.


Indicators for Plan Activation

Average wind speeds of 32.1 km/h have historically led to races being won by small groups or breakaways, as seen in 2023.


High wind conditions often disrupt the peloton, making it harder for a large group to stay together.


Expectation of Large Group Sprint

Races in 2022 and 2019, with lower wind speeds of 13.1 km/h and similarly mild conditions, respectively, concluded with large group sprints.

Dry conditions and low to medium wind speeds typically favor a more controlled race, allowing teams to set up for a sprint finish.


In High Wind:

 Priority will be given to sectors leading into windy areas and known danger spots on the course to mitigate risks such as peloton splits and crashes.


In Low Wind: Focus shifts to the race’s finale, especially on narrowing sections and the critical last 3 km, to ensure a safe and competitive setup for a potential large group sprint.


Conclusion:

High Wind Scenario

Expect the formation of smaller groups towards the final, reducing the impact of narrowing sections on the race’s outcome. Teams are likely to increase their efforts in open areas exposed to high winds, initiating positional battles earlier in the race. Additionally, rain increases the risk of crashes, especially during sharp turns in urban settings, as indicated by historical data.


Large Group Sprint Scenario

In conditions favoring a large group sprint, the final kilometers become critically high-risk. The peloton will face challenges narrowing through tight sections and navigating roundabouts with islands before and after, making these points especially dangerous due to the high density of riders and the fight for optimal positioning.



Before Final Lap´s

Highlights – Final Lap´s

A total of 20 narrowing sections and 25 sharp turns demand technical precision and can significantly impact race dynamics.


15 traffic islands and 10 roundabouts necessitate careful positioning, while 8 bridges could be critical points due to potential wind exposure.


Complex terrain and variable surfaces highlight the route’s technical demand, with 3 low visibility areas adding to navigational challenges.

The highest danger scores are observed in the last 3 km, marking it as a critical zone for race outcomes.

This analysis, based in digital evaluation, hints at more obstacles potentially unseen in the initial data, underscoring the importance of preparedness and adaptability for a safe and competitive race.


Types of Obstacles in Final Lap

Final Circut

Final Circut

For the structure of your report or planning document regarding the final lap’s safety evaluation, here’s a concise bullet-point format:


Final Lap Divided into Four Sections for Detailed Safety Evaluation

  • Last 43-30 km
  • Last 30-20 km
  • Last 20-10 km
  • Last 7-3 km
  • Last 3 km
Last 43-30 km

Last 43-30 km

Complex Terrain: The route includes a mix of slight and sharp turns, bridges, and various surface changes, demanding high concentration and bike handling skills.

Obstacle Density: With 37 identified obstacles, this segment has a high concentration of challenges, including a notable number of sharp turns and traffic islands, leading to a danger score per km of 16.23.

Variety of Obstacles: Racers will navigate through narrowings, several roundabouts, and complex zig-zag turns, alongside encountering areas with low concrete blocks and sections prone to sand accumulation, which could affect grip and control.

Wind Exposure: Given the open areas and bridge crossings, riders will need to be prepared for potentially strong coastal winds, which could influence pacing, drafting strategies, and overall energy management.


Last 30-20 km

Last 30-20 km

High Obstacle Density: This segment marks the course’s most obstacle-dense section, featuring a wide array of challenges that test riders’ agility and strategic thinking. 

Key Section Through Veurne: Traversing Veurne becomes a pivotal moment in the race, guiding riders through the historic city center. This passage not only offers spectators a prime viewing opportunity but also introduces a complex series of navigational hazards requiring advanced safety measures.

Urban Complexity: The urban environment of Veurne introduces unique challenges, including tight corners, variable road surfaces, and potential crowd-related obstacles. These factors combine to heighten the risk and necessitate a robust safety framework to protect both riders and spectators.

Spectator Hotspot: As racers wind through Veurne, the convergence of fans adds vibrancy but also calls for increased vigilance. The excitement of the city center atmosphere must be balanced with the paramount importance of safety, underscoring the need for comprehensive planning and clear communication.


Last 20-10 km

Last 20-10 km

Section Overview: Despite its minimal obstacles, the Beauvoordestraat section is identified as one of the race’s most dangerous stretches.

Wind Exposure: This area is highly susceptible to side winds, making it a critical point for safety considerations.

Potential Risks: The exposed conditions can lead to increased peloton tension and potentially high speeds, escalating the risk of incidents.


Last 10-7 km

Last 10-7 km

In the crucial last 10km, riders encounter a mix of sharp turns, narrow passages, roundabouts, and traffic islands, marking it as a key focus for enhanced safety measures.


Key Concerns

Predominant challenges include sharp turns and traffic islands, complicating navigation.

Feedback from winter surveys indicates mixed feelings about safety. Calmer conditions and smaller groups generally fare better, while larger groups face heightened crash risks.


Safety Approach

The section’s safety status is considered acceptable, with an emphasis on ongoing enhancements and active communication with riders for insights.


Last 3 km

Last 3km

Key Safety Focus Areas

Obstacle Navigation: Traffic disruptions caused by islands and narrow paths increase the risk of collisions. Special attention is needed to navigate these safely, especially during a sprint finish.

Railroad Crossing: This feature becomes significantly riskier in rain, requiring careful handling due to its slippery surface and placement on a turn.

Riders have also expressed concerns about this part of the final.

Marking and Signage: Proactively marking high-risk areas and deploying clear signage can alert riders in advance, aiding in safer navigation.

Weather Preparedness: Acknowledging the amplified risks under adverse weather conditions, especially at the railroad crossing, is crucial.


Safety Plan

Safety Equipment

Safety Equipment

During the race, a wide variety of safety equipment will be used, including safety signs, crash protection, banners, and much more.

Safety Plan (Safe Cycling)

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Safe Cycling Index and Conclussion

After an extensive evaluation of the Classic Brugge-De Panne 2024 course, we have identified that the variability in weather conditions, especially wind, plays a crucial role in determining the safety profile of the race. The course’s technical aspects, highlighted by several narrowing sections and the complexity of urban environments, amplify the risks involved, particularly when the race culminates in a large group sprinting towards the finish line.

Given these considerations, we are assigning the course a Safety Index of 4. This rating reflects a course that, while presenting certain challenges, still adheres to a high standard of safety with appropriate measures in place. The score acknowledges the inherent risks associated with competitive cycling, especially in varying weather conditions, but also recognizes the efforts made to mitigate these risks through course design, safety protocols, and contingency planning.


Key factors influencing the Safety Index of 4 include

Technical Challenges: The course’s technical sections, such as narrowing passages and urban routes, require advanced bike handling skills and strategic navigation by the riders.

Weather Variability: The impact of wind on this coastal route can dramatically change race dynamics, necessitating different strategies for low and high wind conditions.

Safety Measures in Place: The presence of detailed safety plans, including alternative routes and enhanced safety measures for high-risk sections, contributes positively to the course’s overall safety rating.

Community and Rider Input: Our decisions and safety evaluations are deeply informed by feedback from teams and riders. Their insights play a crucial role in guiding our course adjustments and safety protocols, ensuring that our strategies align with the actual needs and preferences of the participants. This collaborative approach is fundamental to our commitment to enhancing safety and race experience.



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Contacts

For feedback, questions or other request – feel free to contact us.

Jan Nys

Race Director

Chris Van Cleven

Safety Manager

Markus Lærum

Safe Cycling

Post-Race Evaluation

Will be made after the race.

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