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BinckBank organiser responds to safety complaints

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The peloton during stage 3 at BinckBank Tour

The peloton during stage 3 at BinckBank Tour (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Sacha Modolo (EF Education First) crashed during stage 1 of BinckBank Tour

Sacha Modolo (EF Education First) crashed during stage 1 of BinckBank Tour (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Stage 2 of the Binkbank Tour included cobbles and crosswinds

Stage 2 of the Binkbank Tour included cobbles and crosswinds (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Tim Declercq of Belgium and Team Deceuninck-QuickStep / Peloton / Rain / during the 15th Binck Bank Tour 2019, Stage 1

Tim Declercq of Belgium and Team Deceuninck-QuickStep / Peloton / Rain / during the 15th Binck Bank Tour 2019, Stage 1 (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Jos van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo) on the attack

Jos van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo) on the attack (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

The organisers of the BinckBank Tour have responded to safety complaints about the race, after numerous riders registered their concerns in the wake of stage 3.

Among the dissenting voices was Tim Declercq (Deceuninck-QuickStep), who pointed out the hypocrisy of holding a minute's silence for Bjorg Lambrecht moments before racing on a "bike lane-wide parcours."

Declercq's teammate Bob Jungels, Marcel Sieberg (Bahrain-Merida) and the Jumbo-Visma duo of Paul Martens and Jos Van Emden also took to Twitter with their complaints, with Van Emden likening the race to a kermesse.

QuickStep team boss Patrick Lefevere responded to Van Emden, saying that the CPA [rider's union] should get to work, teams should refuse to pay fines, and that the UCI shouldn't have approved the final of stage 3.

Race organiser Rob Discart responded to those concerns in an interview with Sporza, comparing the race route to those of the Flanders Classics, and saying that the nature of the route was known well beforehand.

"We shouldn't forget that when we announced the different courses, we told them that this is a 'Flandrien route'," Discart said. "That means you're confronted with narrow roads and technical turns followed by wider roads. This is also the case in the Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem and E3 Harelbeke.

"Moreover, we were unlucky enough to have to make late changes to the route, which resulted in a few more narrow sections."

Stage 3, which raced around the Belgian town of Aalter, finished with three laps of a circuit and was marked by numerous crashes, including one heading into the final corner. A further incident during the stage saw a spectator walk in front of the peloton with a bike, seemingly on purpose.

Discart said that the route was UCI-approved, adding that the race organisation thought the route to be safe.

"We got the green light [from the UCI] for our race without any problems," he said. "Only the time trial we had to change a bit. The rest turned out to be in tip-top shape.

"We think that our stages, and therefore stage 3 in Aalter, are safe. Mind you, I understand the criticism of some riders.

"After the race, I asked Sam Bennett if everything was OK and he saw no problem. It depends on each individual as to who found it a dangerous stage."

 

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Daniel Ostanek

Daniel Ostanek has been a staff writer at Cyclingnews since August 2019, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later part-time production editor. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.


Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.