Well the title pretty much sums it up really, the event was really badly organised from the get go, from letting riders grade themselves to speed, to initially not having a feed for the 162km “Extreme” riders to introducing it once sign on had commenced on Saturday which meant that unless you had someone with you to sort your feed you were screwed.
There were no marshalls on corners on the first 50km, imagine over 100 riders approaching a village at 50kph and having to slam on the brakes with just 50 metres to go to make a 90 degree left turn with no marshals before the corner directing you. Cue large amounts of riders locking up wheels and sliding all over the place.
162km riders were off first at 8.30am with only an hour between the first extreme wave and the first wave of the “Long” course, meaning that unless the elite bunch averaged 50kph for the first hour you would have long course riders in with extreme riders. The grading by speed meant you had riders that didn’t have bike handling skills riding in large bunches which caused multiple crashes, i counted 3 crashes in the first 50km and know of at least 4 more including mine, is this acceptable in a road race? 7 crashes that I know of and I know there were more. Including the accident of the Team GPM Dev Team who had to be airlifted to Westmead Hospital and had surgery to save his sight, he is probably lucky to be alive.
I crashed at the 90km as a rider in front of me slammed on the brakes on a descent and then crossed my front wheel, bringing down myself and 4 others at 50kph. Race over and I had been riding strongly, I am now missing skin of both my hands, knees and my right shoulder, arm, thigh and the skin of the tops of 4 fingers and have a cracked frame so need a new bike.
I witnessed first hand that none of the commissars cars had race radio’s to talk to each other and couldn’t talk to police to find out what was going on, so no one had any idea about what was happening in any of the bunches.
I will have serious question marks about racing the B2B again, with the poor organisation and lack of care of all the cyclists I question if this is a good race to start the season on. It seems rider safety was the lowest priority and bringing in money to Bathurst was the highest priority. Generally NSW Opens are pretty accident free, however the B2B seems to buck the trend with accidents being commonplace.