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UCI demands reports on Roubaix & Basque Country incidents

"Safety should be priority" says governing body after "worrying" incidents...

Cycling's governing body, the UCI, has asked for detailed reports into incidents at two recent races in which riders were put at risk, either by the own behaviour or by course design.

In Sunday's Paris-Roubaix classic a number of riders circumvented the barriers at a level crossing as a train was approaching. The last few riders ignored advice to stop from a motorcycle marshal and crossed just seconds before a TGV hurtled through the crossing.

In last week's Tour of the Basque Country several riders hit a row of metal poles topped with traffic cones in the finishing straight of the opening stage.

BMC Racing’s Peter Stetina broke his right tibia and patella and four ribs in the crash, while Orica-GreenEdge’s Adam Yates broke a finger, in both cases putting their early-season goals in serious jeopardy.

In a statement, the UCI said: "Following two extremely worrying incidents that occurred over the past week during the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco and Paris-Roubaix, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) would like to reiterate that safety should at all times be the number one priority of all those involved in a cycling race.

"The UCI is taking both incidents very seriously and has requested that a comprehensive report on each of them be submitted as soon as possible for review and potential action.

"It is everyone’s duty to make sure that our beautiful sport of cycling is not tarnished by incidents that appear to have been avoidable."

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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don simon fbpe | 9 years ago

but the speed of the train wasn't the point.

Except for the headline writers.  16

WolfieSmith | 9 years ago

No it wasn't doing 120 - but the speed of the train wasn't the point.

It's a daft situation that could have been avoided. If the UCI make it very, very clear that the head of the race will, without fail, be neutralised until the rest catch up then riders wouldn't be so desperate to jump the barriers. In the past the marshals have given into rider pressure and not slowed the breakaway which is why riders take risks to be on the right side of the barrier when it closes.

It's one thing to argue against slowing groups like a few years back when Schleck took a tumble in an early stage of the TDF and Cancellara bossed everyone into waiting: that was keeping a commercial and viable rider in the race after bad luck and bad luck is part of sport. However, jumping in front of trains shouldn't happen and the UCI and marshals are to blame.

vonhelmet replied to WolfieSmith | 9 years ago
MercuryOne wrote:

No it wasn't doing 120 - but the speed of the train wasn't the point.

Beyond a certain speed I imagine the outcome of being hit by a train differs only in the area of spread.

bdsl | 9 years ago

They don't want a report on the Flanders Shimano incidents?

Grizzerly | 9 years ago

Whilst not in any way condoning the Paris - Roubaix riders crossing the railway lines as the train was approaching, the train was NOT travelling at 120 mph or anything near that speed. The 'anti cycling' lobby will jump on any adverse publicity, don't let us give them anymore ammunition.

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