Trek Factory Racing's Eugenio Alafaci and the director of the Giro d'Italia Mauro Vegni have called on roadside fans to respect the riders and behave safely after a mindless spectator sparked a huge crash after trying to ride along with the peloton during stage two.
Thirty riders were reported to have been caught up in the high-speed crash in the finale of stage two of the Giro d'Italia to Genoa, with Pieter Serry (Etixx-QuickStep) forced to retire from the race after injuring his shoulder.
Vegni insisted that RCS Sport is not able do much more to protect the riders. Barriers protect the riders and the public in the final metres of each stage and at other key points but the cycling spectator jumped into the road and the peloton with 12km left to race. Taping indicated that spectators should stay back from the road but he simply ducked under it and tried to ride with the peloton. However the peloton was travelling at over 50km/h and the cycling spectator sparked a huge crash.
"It's impossible to put barriers along the whole race route," Vegni explained to Cyclingnews. "Where the crash happened was a double lane road with wide sidewalks for the spectators to watch the race in safety. I think it was just an idiot who wanted to show off with the riders but he didn't realise that he could have caused a huge accident.
"We're happy that there are lots of people along the roadside but I ask them to please respect the riders. Whenever they crash they can be seriously injured."
Alafaci was not hurt after crashing on top of his teammate Marco Coledan. He also called on the roadside fans to respect the riders.
"If there's an idiot who wants to join the peloton, there's not much anyone one can do and they have to take the blame for what happened. The Giro has been safe so far, as it usually is," he told Cyclingnews and Gazzetta dello Sport.
"We'll carry on racing and I just hope something like this never happens again. I hope that the people will continue to come see the Giro d'Italia from the roadside but to be a little bit more careful. The crash showed that it only takes a little incident to cause a big crash and leave lots of rider injured and lose time."
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