The UCI issued a mid-season addition to its rules, publishing extensive guidelines for vehicles in the race convoy. The move is intended to improve rider safety after a spate of vehicle-rider incidents. But still pending approval are key rider safety recommendations for the final 3km of races which were put forth by the CPA last year: recommendations that had the resounding support of professional cyclists.
The CPA's plan has been under review since last September by the UCI's Security and Technical Regulations Working Group, the same group that approved the convoy guidelines.
David Millar first presented the CPA's plan to the working group in April, 2016. The CPA asked for additional inspections and protections for riders in the final 3km of races after an unprotected bollard in the road caused a terrible crash in the 2015 Vuelta al Pais Vasco that seriously injured Peter Stetina and Sergio Pardilla. A similar unprotected post in the final kilometers of stage 5 of the 2016 Vuelta a Espana caused Steven Kruijswijk to crash and fracture his collarbone.
The plan was met with approval by the Pro Cycling Council last June, again by the Road Commission in September. The next meeting of the Security and Technical Regulations Working Group is set for later this month.
Michael Carcaise, director of the ANAPRC, the North American riders' association, hopes the group can address the course concerns in this next meeting. "We are happy Brian Cookson and the UCI have worked with the CPA and the peloton to create the Extreme Weather Protocol and the Race Convoy Guide," Carcaise said to Cyclingnews. "Now the UCI must make common sense regulations for course inspections and managing hazards inside the final kilometers to prevent avoidable injuries... UCI Regulations for course safety inside the final kilometers will make riders far safer than reducing the size of the peloton."
The UCI's convoy guidelines also lacked many of the CPA recommendations for vehicles. The UCI stopped short of tracking and rating driver performance, did not state drivers should pass at a specific speed relative to riders - only use the phrase passing "without excessive speed", did not encourage off-course passing routes or place limits on the total number of vehicles in the convoy, other than to limit 'yellow flag' marshals to five per race.
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