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Video: Helicopter blows barriers into riders' path at Tour of Croatia

After motorbikes and cars, now TV choppers are back in safety spotlight

After motorbikes and cars, now helicopters following races are in the spotlight after the downdraft from one blew crash barriers doubling as advertising hoardings into the path of riders at today’s queen stage of the Tour of Croatia, won by Trek-Segafredo’s Riccardo Zoidl.

Footage posted to Twitter by shows how the lead riders had to avoid the crash barriers that had been blown over in the closing few hundred metres of today’s race.

Scottish rider Robert Millar has spoken in the past of how pilots of low-flying helicopters working for host broadcasters may have given a helping hand to home riders when he was challenging for the overall win at the Giro d’Italia.

More recently, in the 2013 edition of the Spanish race the Vuelta a Burgos, several riders gesticulated at a helicopter after it blew them off the road, and in the following year’s Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia, one was said to have caused Katusha’s Pavel Kochetkov to crash, causing him to break his collarbone.

> Video: What happens when a TV helicopter gets a bit too close?

As for that question about whether drones should be used instead of helicopters, Felix Lowe – who blogs for Eurosport as Saddleblaze – pointed out that one was being used in today’s race.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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espressodan | 7 years ago

Pilot here. Simply, the helicopter didn't blow the barriers over, the pilot did. Serious safety incident as it has the clear potential to cause an injury. Very irresponsible to place the helicopter in that position, particularly looking at the terrain around it. Rule breaking for organisational gain and probably flying illegally low if he wasn't landing. Contacting agency and regulator should be investigating.

mrchrispy | 7 years ago

/hat @ Mungecrundle

(and possibly Initialised if he was quicker ;-))

Mungecrundle | 7 years ago

I thought that rotors had been banned from pro cycling? 

Initialised replied to Mungecrundle | 7 years ago
Mungecrundle wrote:

I thought that rotors had been banned from pro cycling? 

Damn, you beat me to it!

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