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Former world champion Paolo Bettini talks to Luca Paolini (Aqua & Sapone) while stopped at lights in Geelong.
Those running red lights will be ticketed, police say
The cycling elite has gathered in Melbourne for the world championships, and the Australians are aghast at the athletes' behaviour. “World cyclists running our red lights” read the headline in the Geelong Advertiser.
“Daredevil cyclists running red lights in Geelong and risking life and limb have alarmed organisers of next week's UCI cycling titles,” the newspaper reported, while the organisers “fear serious injuries to cyclists blatantly running red lights around Geelong.”
Traffic policeman Senior Sergeant Shane Coles said that those who break the law would be booked. "If they are detected they will be booked, it doesn't matter if they are the world champion, the law is the law and they've got to comply with it," Sgt. Coles said. "We're going to have a huge influx of bikes in the next week or so and for all my members on the highway patrol no one is having a day off so we are going to have a massive presence in the area."
Michael Palmer, the general manager of the organising committee, confirmed that many riders ran the red lights and violated other traffic laws while training.
"Stopping at red lights is something they don't spend a lot of time bothering about," Palmer said.
"We're working with the teams to make sure they understand they've got to abide by the road rules, but there's plenty of examples ... there goes another one.”
Palmer noted that in the time he was talking with the reporter, at least three riders had run the red light. "We'll be talking with them to make sure they stop doing that."