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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."

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.