The UCI has said “too many serious crashes have occurred recently” after a number of riders have been injured in falls.
After the pro peloton returned to action in late July, high-profile riders have criticised race organisers and the UCI in response to a series of awful crashes.
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Incidents involving Fabio Jakobsen at the Tour of Poland, Remco Evenepoel at Il Lombardia and poor quality roads at the Tour de Wallonie have now forced the UCI to step up its safety inspections.
A statement from president of the international governing body, David Lappartient said: “The safety of riders is a priority for the Union Cycliste Internationale which considers this issue of the greatest importance.
“We are aware of the riders’ concerns over safety conditions as they go about their work and we are determined to take further steps to provide a strong and appropriate response. We extend our wishes for a quick recovery to all riders affected by the accidents, and we assure them, as well as the entire peloton, that the UCI, over and above the measures already undertaken at the beginning of the year, is working on new initiatives together with cycling’s players, to guarantee greater safety for all.”
The UCI said that the serious crashes that have occurred since racing re-started after the coronavirus lockdown were caused by “non-respect of the safety regulations.”
Now the body will carry out more stringent safety inspections before and during races.
A statement from the UCI pointed to recent rule changes like the introduction of the Extreme Weather Protocol, the appointment of technical advisers, safety awareness courses for drivers on races and sanctions for race organisers breaching regulations.
The UCI also said it will initiate a “far-reaching reform of the safety conditions” in conjunction with riders, teams and race organisers.
In its statement, the UCI said: “Too many serious crashes have occurred recently, and the UCI is aware of the dissatisfaction from the riders, with [the riders’ union] the CPA regularly speaking on their behalf.”
The Tour de Wallonie is the most recent race to be hit with concerns about rider safety, which were initially sparked by the awful crash involving Fabio Jakobsen at the Tour of Poland.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider Jakobsen was left in a serious condition when he was forced into the barrier on a high-speed, downhill sprint on stage one in Poland, as the barrier gave way and sent him flying into the air.
Then in the Critérium du Dauphiné, Tom Dumoulin said it was a “disgrace” that a particular descent was included in the race after his Jumbo-Visma team-mate Steven Kruijswijk crashed out on stage four.
Remco Evenepoel will also be forced to miss the rest of the season after he hit an unattended low wall on a bridge during Il Lombardia and was sent tumbling into a ravine below.