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British UCI Continental team Saint Piran have taken their riders off Lapierre bikes for training and racing due to safety concerns.
Saint Piran had a sponsorship deal with the French bike manufacturer for 2022 however, the British team said it took both their men's and women's teams off the Lapierre Aircode DRS and Xelius SL models due to safety concerns that had arisen with the bikes.
In a short statement released to Cycling Weekly, Saint Piran said that they had entered dialogue with Lapierre in an attempt to find an "amicable solution" with Lapierre and the company's UK distributor Raleigh UK.
The British team are currently in action at the Tour of Britain and have been pictured on Specialized and Trek bikes in recent races including the Ryedale GP won by Alex Richardson.
The statement from the Cornwall-based team read: “We formally notified Lapierre and its UK distributor Raleigh of our concerns first on 14th November 2021 and have maintained correspondence since that point.
“At Saint Piran Pro Cycling, we prioritise our riders’ health and wellbeing. For that reason, we stopped our riders riding Lapierre bikes and have trained and raced alternative bikes for the majority of 2022."
However, a spokesperson for Lapierre said that no faults had been reported to them by any professional cycling teams and they then referred to the allegations from Saint Piran as “a rumour”.
They said: “If we had had reliability or quality issues with our Aircode DRS or the new Xelius SL frame, you can understand that World Tour teams like Groupama FDJ and FDJ Suez would no longer ride our bikes in the world's most demanding races.”
'THE ISSUE IS NOT WITH DESIGN OR MANUFACTURE'
Raleigh, the UK representative of Lapierre, has since released a statement to Cycling Weekly which makes clear that it believes that the safety concerns raised by Saint Piran are of the British team’s own-making. The company said that the issue is not “with design or manufacture but with over tightening of the bike's headset components by Saint Piran”.
Furthermore, it said, Raleigh “have constructively engaged with Saint Piran to resolve their concerns, even proposing the instruction of an independent expert, an offer which Saint Piran has not taken up”.
Lapierre currently has one voluntary product recall in place concerning the Zesty/Spicy Alloy frame frame MY 2019/2020.
Earlier in 2022, Saint Piran suffered a large financial hit when tens of thousands of pounds worth of bikes were stolen from a team van at a race in the Netherlands. The team had three prototype racing bikes stolen.
Do you have any experience with the Lapierre Aircode DRS or Xelius SL models? If so and you'd like to comment on them please contact us at email@example.com
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Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. He has reported from a wide range of races and events including the Tour de France and World Championships.
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