President CPA International Riders Association
The pain and dismay for the death of Bjorg Lambrecht is still palpable in the group, but it is not only for this reason that the riders involved in the Binck Bank Tour are raising their voices. Safety in the race has always been a priority for the protagonists of the cycling world and their representatives who demand immediate measures to protect the riders.
Since this race between Belgium and Netherlands has started on the 12th of August has proven to not deserve the World Tour level, a title given by the International Cycling Union, despite evident problems for the safety of the riders, starting from the choice of the race course. The participants are complaining uniformly about the narrow streets, the unmarked obstacles, the sudden curves and holes on the ground in proximity of the arrivals, made even more dangerous by the bad weather, which frequently rages in this area during the month of August, from the dangerous crossing of fans, from dangerous barriers.
“Our delegate reported the many problems to the organizers and to the UCI, whose safety delegate is finally coming today at the race. The riders are facing a city obstacle course, I wonder: who authorized it? Tomorrow this race will end, but under these conditions it is not acceptable to ride” says Gianni Bugno, president of the International Riders Association.
“There are rules and they must be respected. At the moment we are not interested in listening only about penalties that may be imposed to the organiser, accidents must be prevented, we cannot go on like this. Riders cannot risk their life because the organizer is not able to guarantee a certain type of safety standard. Problems like these are not admissible, an event organised in this way cannot be part of the World Tour” insists the two-time world champion.
“We are tired, the UCI thanks us for our reports but does not much to change the things. We believe in teamwork, in dialogue and in the work of the commissions, but we cannot afford not to be taken seriously. We can no longer accept this modus operandi. If this is the attractiveness of cycling to which the international federation is aiming, we are definitely going in the wrong direction”.