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UCI to study crashes next season to improve rider safety

“We can fight between us or work together,” says UCI boss David Lappartient following recent high-profile incidents

UCI president David Lappartient says that world cycling’s governing body will review all crashes next season in a bid to improve rider safety.

Since top-level racing resumed at the start of August, a number of high-profile crashes have taken place, including Fabio Jakobsen sustaining serious injuries and being placed in an induced coma when Dylan Groenewegen pushed him into the barriers at the Tour de Pologne.

Another incident saw Remco Evenepoel crashing over a bridge into a ravine at Il Lombardia, leaving the Belgian youngster with a broken pelvis, among other injuries.

“We don't have the figures on crashes,” Lappartient said, speaking in Imola on Saturday, reports The Independent

“So in 2021 for each crash in the international calendar I want to have a full survey on the number of crashes and the reasons they occur, so we can monitor the situation.

“We can take to Twitter to blame each other. We can fight between us or work together. But we have a common goal: we want the second one.

“It's true we had some bad crashes with Jakobsen, Evenepoel and other riders,” the UCI president continued. “There's a lot of emotion afterwards each time and we want to act but we realised it's not the time to just put a plaster or a stitch on things.

“We have a lot of things to do to improve safety but we must agree on the point we need to work on and how we can do it.

“This can be by obligations and rules and also by changing riders' habits,” he added.

“Of course, the barriers are an issue. We saw what happened in Poland. Groenewegen was first at fault for pushing Jakobsen and there's an ongoing case with the Disciplinary Commission."

Meanwhile, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has applauded the sport for successfully staging two of its most high-profile events despite the ongoing crisis, saying that it gives the organisation “a lot of confidence” that the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games can go ahead next year.

Speaking in Imola this weekend, he said that the sport “has played a very particular role” in the return to elite competition,” reports Inside The Games.

"There was the Tour de France and now the World Championships, the two most complex events so far at international level. 

"The success of these events gives us and the entire sports movement a lot of confidence. 

"I'd like to thank the UCI for taking on this responsibility and organising in a very responsible way."

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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STATO | 3 years ago

British Cycling banned spectators within 2m of the course for downhill mtb, or even further out in specific locations, due to the risk of crashes. However fans leaning over the barriers in sprint finish is actively encouraged at most events.  Not sure how that risk assessment passes strutiny given the speed and risk of crashes in a sprint finish.

Jimmy Ray Will replied to STATO | 3 years ago

It'll be the designated hard barrier that makes the difference. Downhill its generally a piece of tape.

Also speaking generally, the barriers used at road event finishes do a great job of keeping any 'action' in the road. I can only think of one, very public and recent example of where this has not happened. 

Supers79 | 3 years ago
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Why can't they retrospectively review the crashes from this and the last season to make things safer for next season? 

Liam Cahill replied to Supers79 | 3 years ago

Cus it's the UCI

Jimmy Ray Will replied to Supers79 | 3 years ago

Because they won't have been maintaining a record of them until now. 

I'm not sure how it works in different countries, but what I've seen in the UK, is that reports are only compiled after a serious crash and even then I'm not sure those reports go anywhere other than a central office to be forgotten about. 

wilbo666 | 3 years ago
1 like

Something that should've happened a long time ago, IMHO. This is something that F1 started looking into during the 1980s, regarding how tracks were managed. Sad to see how much the UCI have dragged their heels with this.

TheBillder replied to wilbo666 | 3 years ago

Jackie Stewart started leading industrial action on this before he retired in 1973. Sadly it needs riders to threaten the cashflow before it will be taken seriously. And because road racing has so many participants and less dominance by a single person than F1, it will need the senior riders to band together across teams.

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