No light at the end of the tunnel

It doesn’t get more dangerous than an unlit tunnel.

If you haven’t ridden in an unlit tunnel before, let me explain what it’s like. You suddenly go from daylight to dark and can’t see the riders around you, nor the road in front. The first time it happened, the tunnel had a bend in it and I couldn’t see the fabled light at the end of the tunnel. I lost my spacial awareness and didn’t know where I was rolling straight or veering towards the walls, the only senses that remained was the wind on my face and the sounds of riders shouting to warn each other. You might as well put on a blindfold and go for a ride, see how far you get before you hit the kerb or go in the ditch. Now imagine trying this in a bunch…

So when a race like Milan-San Remo takes the Turchino Pass, the dangers of the unlit tunnels at the top are evident, even if riders can sometimes “aim” for the lights of cars and motorbikes ahead. Garmin-Transition’s Murillo Fischer fell and broke his collarbone. Note the galleria on the Turchino has a 30km/h speed limit for cars as it’s that dangerous for cars with headlights.

There’s no excuse for this, riders have been warning of these dangers for some time. In fact RCS, Milan-San Remo organisers, has been given formal and written warnings of these dangers. But nothing was done about it for Saturday. You’d think a local rental depot could supply some cheap and temporary lighting. Riders and teams should take a stand and insist RCS guarantees something in time for the Giro.