Pressed by athletes who realize how dangerous professional road racing is becoming, l‘International Cycling Union has decided to crack down on safety in the race, starting – rather than protecting the courses – by establishing new sanctions for athletes who adopt risky behaviors.
The first decision was in fact that of providing heavy punishments (up to disqualification) for those who adopt the so-called super tuck position downhill, the out of the saddle (sitting almost resting on the seat tube, torso advanced far beyond the handlebar) that Chris Froome adopted among the first al Tour de France 2016. Dangerous (but at the moment no serious accident ever happened among the professionals), very aerodynamic, super tuck will cost the disqualification from the race to those who adopt it as it already happens for athletes who cut the track on the pavements putting the safety of the spectators at risk , very frequent scene in the Belgian classics.
Unfortunately, the solution to the biggest problem, that of securing the routes, has been postponed. The most sensational episode in 2020 was the sprint of the first stage of the Tour of Poland in which the Belgian Jakobsen risked his life for a shoulder from Dutchman Groenewegen. The hurdles on the finish straight (in plastic instead of metal, not anchored to the ground and to each other) flew away and Jakobsen hit his head against a concrete wall, remedying serious injuries also due to the very high speed on a finish line downhill.
The paradox that while a Groenewegen an exemplary disqualification (nine months) was imposed, no sanctions or observations were made to the organizers. The UCI has now decided to make a security standard mandatory for arrivals but this will only be adopted in 2022, after in-depth studies, studies, simulations and more. In short, the athletes will have to be very careful about the red cards, the organizers at the moment do not.
February 5, 2021 (change February 5, 2021 | 16:34)
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