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2024 Tour de Gnar Cancelled After Yoann Barelli's Horrific Crash

Jul 10, 2024
by Sarah Moore  
Photo: Joe Wakefield. See the whole photo story from the 2023 Tour de Gnar here.

The 2024 edition of the Tour de Gnar has been cancelled following Yoann Barelli's horrific crash in Quebec at the end of June in which he sustained head and hand injuries.

bigquotesAs you may know, Yoann had a bad accident couple of weeks ago resulting in some head and hand injuries.

We decided to cancel this year’s edition of the Tour while he fully recovers.

The good news is that TDG in Oaxaca, Mexico in December is still a go!!!

We will see you in 2025 Squamish!
Tour de Gnar on Instagram

Yoann Barelli has shared a video of the crash and of his crushed helmet.

bigquotesAfter several minutes of unconsciousness, the first thing I remember is to not remember anything.. I didn’t know my name, where I was, when we were, what I was doing, who the people around me were.. but it was peaceful, as if I was floating on a comfortable pillow.
I remember taking a big deep breath to come back as if I needed to bring life in me again.

My computer did a “force quit” then a solid “reset”, and nothing got deleted in the process. I remember my past and everything from the moment I reopened my eyes.

I’m extremely thankful for the crew with me that day, without them I wouldn’t be here to write and share this story.
@toevs @skimoneau @jadventure @jschpphoto @longshotphil @charlesetiennedesaulniers and his dad, and all the @valleebrasdunord patrol team, big love to you guys.

I’m enjoying some time off at home, and still waiting for surgery of my left hand ring finger that was open and dislocated, dangling and pretty much just holding by the skin, it needs a bit of love.

I don’t really know when I’ll be biking again, but right now I’m fine with it, my brain needs to heal and to process it all.
Writing helps me as well .

Life is precious, and so are the people around you. I feel lucky today to be able to walk, to think properly and to be able to hug my beautiful wife @jennifer_manley_barelli and my kids. The universe is hard with me sometimes but not cruel, I’m thankful for the lessons it teaches me.

Thank you for the countless messages of support and love everyone, can’t wait to give you a high five with my left hand.

PS: I cut the end of the second clip to not make it too graphic, I continued to slide and fell head first into the river unconscious. It’s a bit hard to watch and not necessary on this platform.
Yoann Barelli

bigquotesSafe to say that this helmet saved my life!! I’ve never crushed a helmet like that in my entire career, and when you’ll see the violence of the impact you’ll understand a bit more.Yoann Barelli

You can watch the full video from the 2023 Tour de Gnar below.

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  • 147 2
 Always blows my mind these dudes rock a half shell helmet…
  • 78 2
 What’s crazy Is that kind of crash can happen to anyone, on any trail. Crashes happen because you don’t see them coming.
  • 58 106
flag 50to01son (Jul 10, 2024 at 16:29) (Below Threshold)
 That peace he felt is where we all come from and where we will return. Remember this is our true nature.
  • 50 31
 @50to01son: Bullshit.
  • 18 3
 @PHX77: I mean you can crash pretty close to as bad but he is going Mach chicken here. Not everyone rides that fast
  • 13 43
flag dicky1080 (Jul 10, 2024 at 17:28) (Below Threshold)
 @50to01son: yes. So yes.
  • 22 9
 @dicky1080: no, definitely not.
  • 27 49
flag p1nkbike (Jul 10, 2024 at 18:25) (Below Threshold)
 I see a TON of people sending hard in half shells and I guarantee you:

1) they never crashed hard so they dont know
2) they think fullface is annoying, hot and not cool
3) they see youtube stars in half shell

I wish Yoann quick and good recovery, but I also think MTB youtubers should think about proper helmets, pads and for some of them armors.

DH riders crash and sometimes still break stuff in full armor and full face. Thanksfully, most of the time they just walk away.
  • 26 9
 @mamrd: I suspect he’s alluding to non-dual presence (i.e. not being identified with thought, and without the sense of “self”).
That, my friend, is not bullshit. Indeed, it has much in common with Yoann’s description.
  • 40 10
 @p1nkbike: You're an idiot if you think anyone who rocks a half shell "hasn't crashed hard so they don't know" Or we wear half shell cause of Youtubers....
  • 14 32
flag curtiscycles FL (Jul 10, 2024 at 19:10) (Below Threshold)
 if you watch one of Remy's recent videos he says when riding super big technical stuff like this having a full face can be dangerous because it obscures vision when you need to be precise.
  • 29 4
 @curtiscycles: The alternative is to potentially never see anything again. I think the more you ride in a full face the more your brain adapts to a field of vision that is obscured by a full shell.
  • 57 2
 @curtiscycles: remi might say that, but that doesn't make it true. If he rode in a FF more often he would get uses to the field of view, just like DH racers do. He and yoann, you and me, we should all be wearing FF when we hit narly shit. Full stop
  • 2 5
 @mamrd: It’s true.
  • 22 0
 @curtiscycles: He then proceded to crash face first on his Norway trip.
  • 76 3
 @curtiscycles: I know of at least one other French guy that manages to see out of a full face in pissing rain and ride faster than anyone else on this planet.
  • 15 3
 @curtiscycles: Here's the part that Remy and Yoann are missing with his line of thinking. Basically what he is saying is its a risk benefit analysis. But for this thought process to hold up you would need to be SO precise as a result of the half shell vision improvements that you never crash again. Which as we see here, is not realistic. Even one crash in a half shell could be catastrophic. He got so damn lucky with the way he landed, he could have easily landed face first and been permanently disfigured or even killed.

Turn safe search off and Google "Leforte 3 fractures" for a little hint of what I'm talking about.
  • 5 0
 Well u rock until u don’t, same about bmx gaps etc, u do not see a lot of coverage from trauma on pb or any other website, just crash/recovery stories
  • 9 43
flag m33pm33p (Jul 10, 2024 at 21:22) (Below Threshold)
 @curtiscycles: remy is an idiot. anything to justify being a wanker in a half cut.
  • 7 2
 @curtiscycles: this is precisely what he didn't say. Recently I mean. After recent crash he absolutely changed his mind.
  • 20 4
 @m33pm33p: You went to far. Calling people names doesn't work. Seriously. Personally I also didn't like the guy because he is a bad influence. But recently he crashed again and it seems it changed his mind and he will try full face more often.

This whole argument about precision is absolute nonsense. There are full face helmets and full face helmets. They are not made equal. DH specific seem to be safer but they obscure the view. But there are helmets that have excellent field of view and a chin bar.

So I say people not wearing them simply try to justify the fact that their face has to be visible on YouTube. And nobody will admit that. But calling them names because of that is one bridge too far.
  • 1 0
 modern kamikazes!
  • 9 2
 @goroncy: nah, I think this whine regarding FF filed of view is just a matter of time to get used to

I mean... Yoann and Remi ride hard features, but that's nothing compared to what and how fast pro DH riders go

Nothing of this sht is even compared to redbull hardline or Val Di Sole, and all pros are running FF helmets without any issues
People forget that even though youtubers ride gnarly features, they can't compete with pro DH racers in no way in terms of speed an precision
  • 12 1
 The thing with that kind of thinking is where to draw the line where you wear it or don't? I once crashed and faceplanted at around 55kph on an XC bike because a farmer had put a fence cord right in the middle of the track after a corner so that his cattle do not wander. I was doing a recon of an MTB marathon race. The trail was not technical at all but the crash was nasty. Obviously riding a full face would have limited my face injuries but I don't know anyone who would ride with a full face in a cross country or marathon race. And if you start talking about full face, why aren't we also riding with an MX suit instead of slim cycling gears?
  • 2 1
 @vicrider: blew my mind that ppl down voting that earlier (or your) comment at all.
  • 3 2
 @CDT77: people downvote here everything they don't agree with Smile
  • 5 0
 @freestyIAM: @curtiscycles: That was the old Remy. New Remy was converted a couple months back when he tried to do some old growth logging with his face. He's rocking a sweet full-face now. Check the vid he posted to PB today.
  • 3 2
 The saddest part is that young kids are watching these pro’s rocking half shelves and likely think it’s cool. Not exactly good role modeling. Heal up Joan!
  • 8 0
 @Swangarten: We don't want science, we want to be angry.
  • 6 1
 @L0rdTom: The article is actually supportive as it states that full faces protect from facial injuries which is huge. I've seen many people avulse their lower lip from the dental ridge. The space under the mandible and under the floor of the mouth gets stuffed with dirt, rocks and pine cones when they wipe the forest floor with their teeth. I've spent hours and hours flushing, and suctioning these until clean on sedated patients then suturing their gums under their teeth to lasso it back in place. Doesn't mean everybody needs to wear a full face but it's really tough to believe they're not actually safer.
  • 3 0
 @L0rdTom: True, I forgot where I was for a second
  • 2 0
 @catamplifier: Yoanne was a professional enduro rider for Comensal, no? Dude is fast from what I recall before his knee injury…in 2004 he won men’s elite DH and in 2005 he took 3rd in men’s elite DH…
  • 1 0
 @SpecialXL: he WAS a professional enduro rider almost 10 years ago . The level of PROs has increased significantly from that time and even though he was a Pro Enduro rider - that's nothing compared to WC DH riders now. I doubt he would even qualify for semis now.
Here's an example - Richie Rude, last race he came like 22nd in Finals. However, Yoann is not even close to Richie at all.

Here's another example - Yegor Primachek (a Ukrainian DH champion now in Canada) - a few days ago he had 2 podiums at Canadian Cup in open elite category 19-34 (2nd and 1st places). But he couldn't ever go through qualies in DH WC in Europe. His best result was like... 62nd or something.

Feel free to watch Dakota Nortons last podcast on Vital - he explains the speed difference between local US riding and WC.
  • 1 0
 @SpecialXL: nobody ever did what Greg did and they are not even comparable Smile and I doubt anyone will repeat that at all

I don't get how that's an argument Smile the man has been pushing and improving all his career. Yoann - didn't (in terms of racing and competing)
  • 1 0
 @Batipapo: kids have parent who sponsor them
  • 104 14
 At least, Wade Simmons is probably happy about this news, the balance has been restored !!
  • 17 0
 Healing vibes to you bro. Enjoy the family time.
  • 3 0
 Hope you are feeling better, it was quite something to see you finally come to the east coast. Hope that you will be back. Bon rétablissement mon françaisSmile
  • 1 0
 Ha, what? There is a story there apparently.
  • 6 1
 @yoannbarelli you beat us all to it!

I do find his "only ride it if it's virgin" philosophy a bit traditional..
  • 2 1
 it's always heartbreaking to see someone get injured - best wishes and healing vibes to you

PS and FFS - wear a fullface helmet Smile we can't lose another cultural treasure!
  • 81 0
 had a similar crash two years ago which ended my ``gnarly`` era of biking. my poc tectral was completely crushed, broke nearly all my bone on my face. woke up the next day at the hospital, totally disoriented, my eye and my jaw were crooked, my teeth hurt, no way I was able to speak. had a severe concussion. had a severe crash due to the fact that I was quite habit of the trail but after a thousand time, I missed it. the thing is, I was wearing a small helmet and doing the same thing which I was doing while I did some dh races and training. back then, I used to wear a full face, neck brace, body armor .... list goes on. But don’t get me wrong, I know how to ride, and I did great, even have 1 uci point! but we are wearing a small helmet because we feel good and its only trail right ... but we are doing the same thing as if we wer riding full dh. thing gotta be considered there. mtb is almost done for me, I ride a single speed xc bike now, a gravel bike and I do enjoy every single ride. let’s just be more careful and let’s consider the fact that hazard may happens even on a flat wooden bridge, nor a slippery rock ahead. let’s make it clear, it’s hard to live properly when you lost your head.
  • 24 1
 Sorry to hear. And I agree, I don't get people who glorify brain injuries.
  • 32 0
 Shout out to the new generation of lightweight full-face helmets. I wear a TLD Stage on most trail rides now, only really annoys me when I need to drink.
  • 6 1
 There is of course nothing wrong with wearing full-face helmets extensively. But please don't think that they will make a crash of the Barelli nature much less dangerous. Going very fast when hitting a rock with your head can seriously hurt your head even through a moto helmet. Even more so through a lightweight FF with a shell that isn't really any thicker than a good half shell.
  • 3 0
 Same here, although I was lucky enough to abandon gnarly stuff before I got majorly hurt.

I had so many crashes in my late teens and early 20s that could have crippled me if they'd gone just a little differently, so figured I'd chill out before what seemed inevitable happened.

Single speed hardtails, or even rigids, are a great solution for me. Riding is still huge fun, and there is much less chance of my wife ever having to spoon feed me.

  • 3 0
 @Ttimer: I mentioned specifically because OP talked about damage to their jaw and teeth. All things being equal, I’d go with the DH rated full face over a trail lid even if the impact is on the top.
  • 39 1
 Man, bad week for the Tour de Gnar
  • 21 0
 For all the crazy jumps and steeps these guys do, that was a pretty light-duty segment where he panned.
The front wheel smacks a rut of some kind, going a little too fast with the type of speed that doesn’t help you out, then the brain hits the rock without mercy.

It’s a wild world out there folks, even the most skilled can be laid low without a gap or cliff in sight.
  • 22 0
 This is when you replace your helmet.
  • 19 0
 Man that crash was savage AF, heal up Yoann.
  • 14 1
 Oh Yoann. So glad you're ok. Beautifully written Insta post btw, thanks for sharing.

Heal up, take all the time, enjoy the family love.

  • 11 0
 The truth is: the bigger you go, the faster you go, the harder you are going to fall. And every rider crashes. At what point I ask: is it worth it? Given the style and features Yoann and Remi ride and the way they do, one bad crash is going to need a lot more than a band aid....or worse.
  • 4 0
 If you have seen the video, it didn't happen in a really technical or gnarly place and he wasn't even going at high speed. He just put the front wheel in what looked like a hole before a small wooden bridge but technically. this could have happened to anyone in a badly maintained bike path with an unannounced hole on a city bike.
  • 4 0
 CG almost died riding along a jeep track! These crashes can truly happen to anyone, much like crossing the road.
  • 10 1
 I sometimes catch myself thinking… “those type crashes happen to other people” who aren’t good riders or push the limits too far…. Who don’t think. I’m pretty sure thinking “those type crashes happen to other people” could be a big reason those crashes happen to people
  • 9 3
 That crash was brutal. I hope he makes a full recovery, I love to see his energy and enthusiasm for riding. It will be overlooked, but this should also teach us about shonky wood work. Planks with gaps cause horrible hand injuries. Yoann nearly lost a finger.
  • 6 0
 It's a hard call to make but I'm glad these pros prioritize safety and recovery. We can all agree that its better to miss a year of TDG than to have yoann or someone else crash while not fully recovered and potentially lose their life or suffer permanant injury. Wishing a speedy recovery yoann
  • 5 0
 Seeing these kind of crashes—a seasoned pro, probably pre-rode the line, are what pushed me to stop entertaining any thoughts of doing anything gnarly. At some point the risks outweigh the reward. Poor guy, wish him a speedy recovery.
  • 6 0
 Well, he was doing 30 mp/h on wet surface, I assume he was aware of the risk, helmet definitely sustain more abuse than designed, full dh/park helmet probably would have better outcomes.

Best of luck and fast recovery.
  • 6 0
 So thankful that Yoann made it to the other side of this one. Heal up, legend!
  • 4 0
 I fell onto my head from about 20ft working. I got to personally experienced the ethereal reset for about an hour. Absolutely punishing to see this happen to such a talented and nice person.
  • 7 0
 S2S trails getting a break from getting scoured
  • 5 0
 The humble crash hat is a modern marvel, ouch. Heal up Yoann!
  • 12 6
 How could Wade do this?
  • 5 0
 Did two hard resets myself (one moto, one mtb) and wish them onto no-one.
  • 7 3
 Time to really advocate that Gap Jump at Hardline.
  • 7 13
flag stevemokan (Jul 10, 2024 at 20:09) (Below Threshold)
 They never intended to use that in the actual course, it was expensive click bait.
  • 1 1
 @stevemokan: I believed that as well, until I found out they were actually out looking for a net.That fact changed my mind. I hope you are right and I am wrong.
  • 1 0
 @stunnanumma1: It'll be in next year.
  • 1 1
 Looked like a gnarly crash hope you gets back to full fitness.

But is it ok to ask if these cycling helmets offer good protection or not? is it just marketing claims that they are good? Are there better helmets they could be making? Or do they just manufacture just enough coverage and protection to pass the tests?
  • 1 0

it's a fine question to ask, here are your answers.
  • 1 0
 Came here to say, I’ve crashed in a full face and still blew my face up. F’n still rock a half shell these days just w/ the volume at 6.5… It’s…smart? Sort of…. The risk is always just a split second away.
  • 10 11
 Just the facts:
Vallee Bras du Nord Shannahan area.
Trail is: Legend.
Close to a cascade river (extrem trail not the chicken line): very beautiful but if you fall in the river you might finish your life into Gilles Waterfall (30m vertical drop) very close where this happened. Into water very difficult to escape from waterfall. Wet rock sometimes, slippery as you can see on clip. No fence. Very dangerous area.
Anyways, I can't understand that nothing is done to make this part more safe. Very frightening close to this river.
Expecting some change from the coop workers?
Get well rider of the wild side!
  • 51 2
 The trail is not dangerous, neither is the area. It's got a fairly difficult line, with a way around it. It's well marked and but a badly built jump in a bikepark is far more dangerous than this. The coop did what's necessary to make it safe enough. Yoann and an unlucky crash because but he also had 5 times the speed of the average rider there. I do not think changes are required, and I do think Yoann agrees.
  • 11 0
 You are more likely to get killed in a car accident on the way to VBN...the signage is good and the trail rating is clear. If you don't have the skills to ride it safely there are lots of other trails for you to ride. I don't want reroutes, walls and barriers so intermediates can ride the trial. The sport will end up like downhill skiing where most places it is a sin to ski in the woods and they need to groom the hell out of every trail on the mountain.
  • 2 0
 @pink505: I see your point, but where you skiing?!
  • 4 0
 The top part is steep (for us, not for them or BC riders lol) but I don't know how you could end up in the river?! lol The top part is not wet, only near the end but it's also flatter. Really doesn't need a fence there, come on, its not a ravin!! I went there with people that ride blue trails and they just didn't do the black parts, everything was all good. Many, many, people ride this trail, you don't need to be an expert....just not a beginner of course and use your head...if something is too difficult, just walk that part, nothing wrong with that!

Somebody just died at Bromont and the reporter was asking what they would do to make the mountain safer... LOL It was already a flowy trail, without rock and roots. So you cannot have rocks and roots, now no jumps, no fast parts, no steep....so maybe we should all go biking on roads?! All those places are still way safer than driving your car on the road, stop panicking please!!
  • 2 0
 If you're frightened of being close to the river, do a different trail. It's not a technically difficult section and plenty of people ride it just fine. Yoann was going super fast and got unlucky. If we santize everything so it's impossible to get hurt, we'd never do anything or go anywhere. Let everyone make their own choices.
  • 2 0
 Speedy recovery Yoann! These moments make you appreciate what is really important in life! Cheers!
  • 2 0
 Second that. Have followed your career and this is a nasty and unfortunate accident. It is terrible when the front wheel just goes…WHAM … how do I know…? And have the concussion to show for it.

The lack of memory which Yoann describes is just weird…it’s not like forgetting where your car keys are…normal forgetting has a haze of remembering around it. Concussion memory loss is like a Big Black Hole … there is nothing there. N O T H I N G. Complete absence of anything. It feels weird and horrible.
  • 1 0
 to put into perspective look at 2023. www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGszXc_ND-k
  • 2 0
 they now posted 2023
  • 4 2
 FUCK those half shell lids
  • 3 1
 Half shell or full shell it doesn't really matter when your head goes from full speed to full stop like this. No helmet can prevent your brain from smashing into your skull. Full face is great to protect the outside of your head but doesn't really do much for the inside.
  • 2 0
 this is going to ruin the tour
  • 1 0
 Wishing Yoann a speedy recovery. Definitely an inspiration.
  • 1 0
 Ketchup sachets would have popped for sure on that one.
  • 7 9
 Another YouTube hero that rides with open shell. I do not like that trend at all. Too many kids in the mountains riding open shell because of influencers.
  • 2 2
 Why don't you blame the idiot parents?

And who cares anyway? Let them get smashed up. If they're stupid enough to buy into it, they deserve it.
  • 2 3
 when is enough, enough? progression is an noun, not a death sentence
  • 2 0
 WTF does this even mean?

Oh my god he crashed going fast! Let's all rethink our fundamental understanding of "progression!"

He wasn't "progressing" anything. Just riding a bike fast and had bad luck.
  • 1 3
 He's so damn lucky he just slid across the bridge and didn't fall into the river...
  • 12 0
 He did fall into the river. He didn’t want to show that part. Kept sliding on the rocks then fell in and they had to get him out of the water
  • 3 0
 @seanfeezy: not all insta videos show full coverage
  • 3 2
 @nickmalysh: totally. And yoann said he didn’t want to show the footy. Maybe he changed his mind? Is there a clip out there that shows the end? Not that I would even watch it
  • 1 0
 @seanfeezy: 1. Are two extra letters so much more difficult?
2. You would watch it
  • 1 0
 @ssteve: incredible comment
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