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"Safety should be priority" says governing body after "worrying" incidents...

Cycling's governing body, the UCI, has asked for detailed reports into incidents at two recent races in which riders were put at risk, either by the own behaviour or by course design.

In Sunday's Paris-Roubaix classic a number of riders circumvented the barriers at a level crossing as a train was approaching. The last few riders ignored advice to stop from a motorcycle marshal and crossed just seconds before a TGV hurtled through the crossing.

In last week's Tour of the Basque Country several riders hit a row of metal poles topped with traffic cones in the finishing straight of the opening stage.

BMC Racing’s Peter Stetina broke his right tibia and patella and four ribs in the crash, while Orica-GreenEdge’s Adam Yates broke a finger, in both cases putting their early-season goals in serious jeopardy.

In a statement, the UCI said: "Following two extremely worrying incidents that occurred over the past week during the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco and Paris-Roubaix, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) would like to reiterate that safety should at all times be the number one priority of all those involved in a cycling race.

"The UCI is taking both incidents very seriously and has requested that a comprehensive report on each of them be submitted as soon as possible for review and potential action.

"It is everyone’s duty to make sure that our beautiful sport of cycling is not tarnished by incidents that appear to have been avoidable."

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.