"We all still remember the events during the Tour de Suisse this year" - Jens Voigt 'feels unease' over descents on 2024 Tour de France route

Given the arrival of the 2024 Tour de France profile and route, every kilometre is being analysed in great detail. One part of the course Jens Voigt has spotted are the descents, and he has some concerns.

"Despite all the anticipation, there are things that I don't like," the 52-year-old former two-time Tour de France stage winner writes in his column for Eurosport. "I'm talking about the 4th stage, where after crossing the Col du Galibier it's almost 20 kilometres downhill to the finish. Why can this be a problem? The riders will take full risk, they have to. The peloton is probably still fresh in its legs and motivated after the first serious mountain test. There will be a lot of pressure on the shoulders of the ranking hopefuls and one or the other may have to take more risks than they want."

The talk surrounding safety in regards to high-speed descents has arguably never been higher than in 2023 especially given the tragic incident that transpired earlier this year. "We all still remember the events during the Tour de Suisse this year when Gino Mäder had a fatal accident. I never want to see pictures like that again," Voigt says. "I feel a similar unease when I think about the profile of the final time trial with the very, very fast descent from the Col de Eze to Nice. At Paris-Nice, speeds of over 80 km/h are regularly reached - and the time trial bikes pick up much more speed."

"In addition, these bikes are more difficult to handle due to the aero position of the riders, the disc wheels and aerobars," he concludes. "I actually have a bit of nightmares when I imagine the professionals sailing down the mountain at 90 km/h and possibly a strong, gusty sea wind blowing in. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly."

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