Super bummer about Sagan, Van Avermaet, and Naesen crash on the Oude (Old) Kwaremont riders of G2 (group 2) on the road in RVV (Ronde VanVlaanderan - aka Tour of Flanders). Not only was it rough on the riders but it was also too bad for us spectators as once again cycling's savior was amping it up for yet another 2017 thriller.
But I'm not writing about Sagan, or the 'Was it the banner, or the jacket' drama; I'm taking this opportunity to simply say that it's time for Cycling to up its barrier and signage game. It's time to get pro. FIFI (pro soccer federation) got it; they even have digital LED banners surrounding the sidelines - and when they don't have those, they simply CGI it on and around the field. So pro. Redbull gets it. Beautiful signage, very consistent. OK, so they don't do a great job on the barriers in those urban downhill events in Brazil, but that's Brazil.
Yes, there's a lot more involved in cycling than soccer (football for non-Americans). Soccer has, what, 300m needing signage. Cycling has many kilometers. I'm sure some tech savvy grad student and a good kickstarter campaign could come up with an affordable solution.
If these new banner - barriers (bb's for short, I'm coining that) could be virtual advertising like you see on TV while watching sporting events like football (talking American football), then you'd have something. Cycling after-all is a global sporting event so it makes sense that instead of seeing some banner for some Belgian flooring brand that I've never heard of nor could even find here in Colorado, I could see some ad from, say, my local flooring brand. I wait, wouldn't recognize that either. Perhaps some ad from one of our local breweries like Oskar Blues (who are fans - and participants - of cycling). Or maybe, they could get even more tech on it and tie it in to Facebook ads - this way, the advertising could, at least, be targeted. Then I'd be seeing ads good decaf coffees - because I cut that full strength stuff out - because 11 cups of Jo a-day is too many, but that's another story.
Seriously, though, cycling needs to package its product a little better, a little more pro, so that our sport looks better and can offer a more global advertising solution - AND in the process, make some barriers that actually work to keep the riders safe - and spectator's jackets off the course.
Yours truly, DP