I hit the ground at 53kph. With no more protection than a millimeter or two of neon green spandex plus some aerodynamic styrofoam atop my head, I didn’t stand a chance. My jersey has a some tears and my helmet received a few minor dings, but instead of a glancing skim across the asphalt, the crash was a shockingly brunt impact directly into my left shoulder. People talk about “learning how to crash” — that’s ridiculous. In the frenetic final few minutes of a bike race, when you’re moving at speeds over 30mph and then in the snap of your fingers three riders touch the barrier and come crashing down directly in front of you on, in reality all you do is wish for luck.

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