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"Another day in the death race": Soudal-Quick Step pro rages at Paris-Nice dangers

Florian Sénéchal took to social media to raise concerns about the final stage of the race, including speed bumps on descents and a driver on the course

The final stage of Paris-Nice may live long in the memory as another example of 
Tadej Pogačar's stunning brilliance, but once again riders were left shaking their heads at safety issues on the course, most notably when a motorist was seen driving towards riders.

Soudal-Quick Step's Florian Sénéchal shared an image of the incident on social media after the stage with the caption: 'Another day in the death race' and also highlighted dangerous speed bumps which the peloton rode over while descending.

The frightening moment unfolded around 60km from the finish line in Nice as the front group began the descent of the first-category Côte de Peille, the driver coming up the climb on the course, forcing riders around the outside, fortunate the meeting passed without contact.

Calling the incident live on Eurosport and GCN, race commentator Rob Hatch was left asking "how on earth has that happened?" 

"I'm angry seeing things like that in a pro race," he said. "That is dangerous, that could have been an absolute nightmare."

Last month, British sprinter Dan McLay accused race organisers at Clásica de Almería of "playing with our health" and said it was a "f****** disgrace" that motorists had been using a roundabout at the same time the peloton passed.

At Il Lombardia in 2020, Bora-Hansgrohe's Max Schachmann broke his collarbone when he was hit by a driver on the course in the final kilometres of the Monument.

On top of yesterday's incident, Sénéchal said the first descent of the day had 10 speed bumps, dangerous for riders in the bunch who might not be able to see them coming, especially on a part of the course where speeds will be high.

The Frenchman has spoken out about issues of rider safety at races before, as recently as on Thursday in fact, calling out a dangerous roundabout in the final kilometre of stage five.

 Sénéchal's complaints come as his team's boss Patrick Lefevere had a pop at the UCI, suggesting the governing body must be "short of cash" after fining Julian Alaphilippe for removing his helmet during the fourth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.

Alaphilippe was fined 500 Swiss francs for briefly removing his helmet as he took off clothing mid-stage.

"I'm not going to say that the UCI should applaud when a rider takes off his helmet – we shouldn't downplay safety – but should the federation also impose a fine on itself if a bollard suddenly becomes apparent in the road in the last kilometre of Paris-Nice? I didn't see that in the official communiqué," he wrote in Het Nieuwsblad.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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