The scare of the cyclist Alonso

The symbolism that brings together the accident of Fernando Alonso should serve as a loudspeaker to improve that daily coexistence between bicycles and motor vehicles.

Since the news of his accident broke out on Thursday night, Fernando Alonso has received numerous expressions of support, among them from the Spanish peloton, from some of the most relevant names in recent cycling history: Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Samuel Sánchez… Bicycle professionals, and practitioners of this sport in general, have felt more identified than anyone with the accident of the double Formula 1 world champion, because they have all gone through situations such as the one suffered by the pilot. Road cycling, as its name suggests, involves difficult daily coexistence with other vehicles. In 2020, 36 cyclists died on Spanish roads, four less than in 2019, a tragic list that two decades ago reached a hundred, almost one death every three days. The improvement has been enormous, although still insufficient.

These news, which have taken so many lives, sometimes reach the front page due to the media name of the affected person, as has happened now with Alonso, or as it happened at the time, with fatal results, with professionals such as Antonio Martín, Ricardo Otxoa, Iñaki Lejarreta or Víctor Cabedo, but these events are the daily life of cyclists. And not only in Spain: Michele Scarponi died in Italy; Saúl Morales, in Argentina; Néstor Mora, in Colombia… Alonso himself was run over in Switzerland. It is a global problem. Fortunately, the Asturian incident has only been a scare, a fracture of the jaw that will not even prevent him from making his debut in the Formula 1 World Championship on the scheduled dates. But the enormous symbolism that his case brings together, that of a cycling lover and practitioner who shines in elite motorsport, run over by a car, should serve as a loudspeaker to improve that daily coexistence between bicycles and motor vehicles. We can all fit on the road. And when in doubt, always remember that the rider is the weakest.

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