Video footage shows Paulinho's moto incident at the Vuelta a Espana

Spanish television claims it was a racing accident

Spanish television has released video footage of the Vuelta a Espana motorbike incident with Sergio Paulinho, which left the Tinkoff-Saxo rider needing 17 stitches in his left leg.

The incident, the second including riders from Tinkoff-Saxo after Peter Sagan was injured after being hit by a neutral service motorbike, angered the Russian team, with team management threating to quit the Vuelta unless extra safety measures were introduced. Following a special meeting and the announcement of several safety initiatives before stage 12, Tinkoff-Saxo decided to stay in the Vuelta, with Rafa Majka currently fourth overall behind race leader Fabio Aru (Astana).

Spanish state television channel TVE said it was sorry about the accident during Thursday’s stage but claimed it was a racing accident and that the rider and motorbike accidentally collided. They suggested there were several reasons why the incident occurred. However the Tinkoff-Saxo team believes riders should always have priority on the road and that the motorbike was in the wrong place and as a result was a danger to the riders.

An edited version of the video by a French broadcaster shows the moment of the incident several times. It shows the television motorbike going through the right turn and how Paulinho arrives at speed after attacking from the peloton. He did not crash but shouts at the motorbike and then eases up realising he is injured.

On Thursday Gianni Bugno, the president of the CPA -the international riders association, called for a "fast and urgent meeting in Aigle" between the CPA and the UCI road commission "where the riders can explain their demands to finally stop this bloodbath".

UCI president Brian Cookson was at the start of stage 12 in Andorra and said that everybody had a responsibility for safety during races. The UCI has already announced a review of safety rules and guidelines before the start of the 2016 season.

"Safety is the most important thing for the UCI, and I'm sure for everybody. Everybody has a responsibility - the riders have a responsibility as well, but certainly the drivers of the cars, motos, especially have a responsibility for safety," Cookson said in an interview with Universal Sports. "We're certainly seeing too many accidents. Part of that is the environmental conditions, and traffic calming features in the road and so on, but also there are some examples of human error.”

 

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