By Jonny Long
Jani Brajkovic has said the Slovenian National Championships had no safety measures to protect people against coronavirus.
"It's nice to have cycling event again in Slovenia," Brajkovic wrote on Twitter following the time trial event. "But it would also be appropriate to take at least some safety measures...there were none."
Brajkovic, who now races for Continental team Adria Mobil, came fourth in both the men's elite road race and time trial, with Jumbo-Visma's Primož Roglič beating Tadej Pogačar on the summit finish of the road race before the UAE Team Emirates rider got his revenge in the race against the clock.
Slovenia have suffered on 111 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, out of a total of 1,581 confirmed cases, with the government announced an end to the epidemic on May 15, the first European nation to do so.
The eastern European country has been called a significant exception and praised for its effectiveness in handling the crisis, with 0.5 deaths per 100,000 of the population, compared with 43.3 in the United Kingdom and 54.4 in Spain.
While Slovenia may be over the worst of the coronavirus, meaning life can start to get back to normal, the National Championships' time trial event was open to competitors from different countries, including Italy's Alessandro De Marchi (CCC), who finished with the eighth-best time. The Slovenian Cycling Federation has not responded to Brajkovic's comments.
Deceuninck - Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere has voiced his concern that racing may be returning too soon, with the Belgian Grote Prijs Vermac taking place on July 5, with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Lotto-Soudal and Alpecin-Fenix all set to take the start line.
Lefevere worries about a situation similar to Novak Djokovic’s recent tournament occurring, an event that was supposed to ease tennis out of lockdown but led to a number of positive coronavirus cases.
Lotto-Soudal's Jasper De Buyst also said it may be impossible to prevent coronavirus infections within the peloton, and that if riders are worried about contracting the virus the best option may be to stay at home.
Brajkovic followed up his claims about the safety measures with a mysterious outburst an hour later, tweeting: "To whom it may concern: you can go f**k yourself in your empty brains." The 36-year-old is yet to elaborate on this comment.
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