Riders hold protest over metal poles on Basque Country stage one finish

Professional Cyclists Association organised protest after metal poles on finishing straight of stage one caused major crashes

Riders launched a five-minute protest ahead of Tuesday’s second stage of the Tour of the Basque Country, after metal poles were left in the open on the finishing straight oin Bilbao, causing huge crashes.

The protest was organised by the Professional Cyclists Association (CPA), as a number of riders took to social media to express their outrage, with the poles marked only by orange cones on top of them.

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Britain’s Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge), as well as Peter Stetina (BMC), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Sergio Pardilla (Caja-Rural) were all brought down by the poles and subsequently abandoned the race because of their injuries.

pais-vasco-bollards-westraThe CPA said it was inviting riders to support the protest in order “to avoid in the future episodes like the one of yesterday that undermine the security of your [the riders’] job.

“With this action,” it said in a statement, “the CPA, which has always been pushing for more safety for riders, wants to focus the attention of the organisers, the UCI  and the media on this important issue.”

Tuesday’s stage finished with no significant crashes as Fabio Felline (Trek Factory Racing) sprinted to the win ahead of race leader Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge).

Wednesday will see riders take on the race’s queen stage, which will see the GC contenders, including Nairo Quintana, come to the fore.