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Cycling

Martin slams UCI after moto gets caught in Dauphine peloton


MILAN (VN) — Three-time time trial world champion Tony Martin blasted the UCI after an incident Monday in Saint-Vulbas, France regarding a police motorbike in the Critérium du Dauphiné peloton.

The motorbike passed through the peloton around the final 20 kilometers of the stage, eventually won by Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni of Cofidis. Nothing happened, but it followed several incidents involving motos this season, including the death of Belgian Antoine Demoitié in Gent-Wevelgem.

Demoitié crashed and was hit by a race jury motorbike on March 27. He died overnight in the hospital. Last month in the Tour of Belgium, two motorbikes collided next to the peloton and caused 19 cyclists to fall. Lotto – Soudal’s Stig Broeckx, who just returned to racing after fracturing his right collarbone and ribs when a motorbike clipped him in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne earlier this season, remains in a medically induced coma.

The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) proposed a set of safety rules to the UCI to bring changes. They included setting a speed limit for passing vehicles, scoring the drivers to identify risky ones, and identifying off-course routes so race vehicle can avoid driving near the riders.

The UCI responded to the Tour of Belgium incident by updating its rules for vehicles circulating in races. “The new rules also make it clear that everyone in charge of a vehicle must immediately comply with all directions from race commissaires,” the governing body said. “The need for safe driving, particularly when overtaking riders, has been given extra emphasis by commissaires during pre-race briefings. These rules are backed by sanctions which will be applied by the UCI Disciplinary Commission if any driver is found to be acting negligently.”

The Swiss body said it is still studying the regulations and guidelines with cycling’s stakeholders. It explained that it may limit the number of vehicles and the size of them.

Martin, the CPA, and others, however, are saying the actions are too little, too late. The CPA responded four days after the UCI with its letter and its own plan to address safety with race organizers. The agenda will also include disc brakes, which the UCI banned following an incident in Paris-Roubaix.

In recent days, Martin has also criticized race organizer ASO for its opening prologue at the Critérium du Dauphiné on Sunday.

Martin’s colleagues in the peloton did not share his feelings. Dutchman Tom Dumoulin of Giant – Alpecin responded on Twitter saying that the uphill course was “cool.”



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