The UCI is to investigate a series of incidents at the Tour de Luxembourg, where riders had already staged a protest over safety even before a parked truck on the inside of a bend caused a crash during today’s final stage.
With 67km to go, the peloton rounded a bend, only to find a parked truck blocking an entire lane.
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) September 19, 2020
— Daniel Ostanek (@LVCKV) September 19, 2020
A number of riders fell with Astana’s Yevgeniy Gidich forced to abandon as a result of his injuries.
The 2.HC classified stage race has been blighted by such incidents to the extent that riders staged a protest as early as Stage 2, neutralising the middle of the stage in alarm at how many cars were on the course.
Writing on Twitter about the incidents, Groupama-FDJ's Jacopo Guarnieri said that after 4km a motorist had overtaken the peloton at full speed on a narrow road while attacks were on and then at 18km another driver had come onto the route from a side road and driven in the riders’ direction.
“Nobody was there closing the traffic and probably no one even knows there is a race going on. So we stop our race. Neutralized until the final circuit where, guess what, we had again barriers in the middle of the road as well as some temporary poles.”
Guarnieri said that on Stage 1 there had been cars and even a bus parked from 5km to go and that his team-mate Ignatas Konovalovas had finished that stage in traffic after finding himself five minutes adrift after working on the front all day.
“He reached the finish line 12 minutes after us because he had a red light,” he said.
On another stage he said there had been, “a tractor loaded [with] shit at the bottom of a descent on the road. Not parked, rolling on it when we're coming down.”
On Thursday, the UCI released a statement saying it was in contact with organisers and would, “continue to closely monitor the race as part of our commitment to reinforce our inspections at events and make safe conditions for the riders a priority.
“Races on the UCI International Calendar that are not compliant with the UCI Regulations for rider safety could face stage or race cancellation, as well as further disciplinary actions.”
In a statement following today’s incident, the governing body added: “The multiple incidents reported throughout the event related to the shortcomings of the race organisation are not acceptable and will be investigated and reviewed at next week’s UCI Management Committee. The appropriate measures will be taken to ensure rider safety at events.”