FOUGERES,staged a protest at the start of Tuesday’s stage to complain about perceived dangerous racing conditions after a flurry of crashes reignited the road safety issue. Having left the town of Redon in the western Brittany region to start Stage 4, the peloton rode moderately, and all riders got off their bikes after about one kilometer. waited silently for about a minute before hitting the road again.
After the crash-filled Stage 3, several riders have criticized race organizers for setting up what they considered a dangerous finale to a winding roads leading to the finish line., especially in the early days of the race when nervousness is at its highest level. Former Philippe Gilbert said in a video that riders’ representatives asked for the Stage 3 timings to end with five kilometers left. The goal of the majority of riders was to avoid a risky final sprint on ionnarrow and
“We had analyzed the route and saw that the finale was extremely dangerous,” said Gilbert, a big mistake from the people who approved this route,” he said.specialist. Gilbert noted that race organizer ASO supported the proposal. “But the UCI (cycling’s ) commissaries did not accept the request; it was rejected in the morning at the start of the race,” he said. Gilbert said a pileup on a downhill curve about three kilometers from the finish was a direct consequence. “There was a
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Riders’ union CPA said it had asked the UCI to set up discussions to adopt the so-called “3-kilometer rule” duringraces. Under that regulation, riders who crash in the last three kilometers are awarded the time of the group they were riding with before they fell.
“This could avoid circumstances such as those wn yesterday’s stage,” the union said. “Riders and CPA are determined to pursue changes for athletes’ safety and physical integrity. These changes are more necessary than ever.”
Thierry Gouvenou, in charge of the Tour route, told L’Equipe newspaper about the increasing challenges he faces in finding finish sites without dangerous road materials. “There are no longer any medium-sized towns without a small island, roundabout or narrowing,” he said.
“Ten years ago, there were 1,100 dangerous points on the Tour de France., there are 2,300. If the level of demand becomes too great, there will be no more finishes. That’s where we are.” Gilbert did not blame the route on the UCI, though, saying the teams that scouted it before the race should have warned organizers about its dangers.
On Monday, two top contenders for the— last year’s runner-up, Primoz Roglic, and 2018 champion Geraint Thomas — were involved in crashes, losing ground to their main rivals. But they fell on straight roads with no significant difficulty and did not blame organizers. One of Gilbert’s Lotto-Soudal team, ace sprinter Caleb Ewan, fell near the finish line as he contested the sprint and was forced to abandon with a broken collarbone.
Saturday’swas marred by two big pileups, one caused by a spectator holding a cardboard sign in the way of the peloton. Calling for changes in the sport without offering solutions, veteran Groupama-FDJ sports director Marc Madiot called on all stakeholders to take responsibility “because if we don’t do it, we will have deaths, and I don’t want to phone the family of the rider who will be in the hospital forever.
That’s not worthy of our sport.” The last rider to die on the Tour was Fabio Casartelli, an Italian on the then-Motorola team ofwho crashed on the descent of the Portet d’Aspet pass in 1995. Many serious the race since.
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Tour de France cyclists bring Stage 4 to a halt to protest crashes originally appeared on NBCSports.com.