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Tour de France: 3km crash rule extended to 4.5km mark on stage 13

NMES FRANCE JULY 08 Marc Hirschi of Switzerland and UAETeam Emirates leads The Peloton during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 12 a 1594km stage from SaintPaulTroisChateaux to Nimes LeTour TDF2021 on July 08 2021 in Nmes France Photo by Chris GraythenGetty Images
The Tour de France peloton during stage 12 to Nîmes (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The three-kilometre rule will be altered for Friday's stage 13 of the Tour de France to Carcassonne, the CPA rider's union and race organisers have announced.

With a technical, albeit flat, run to the end of the 219.9-kilometre stage, the decision has been taken to extend the rule to the 4.5-kilometre mark. 

The rule means that riders are credited with the times of the group they were riding in should they suffer a crash or mechanical in the final 4.5 kilometres of the stage. However riders still lose time if they do not crash or suffer a mechanical and a gap opens in the peloton, meaning the overall contenders and their teams will have to stay vigilant.

"After consultation between the Tour de France organisation and the CPA, we asked the UCI to adapt the 3km rule for the difficult race finishes," read a statement issued by the CPA.

"We are happy to announce that we have won a [change] to the 3km rule for today's arrival in Carcassonne.

"The 3km rule will apply 4.5km from the finish. Thank you to the UCI and ASO for hearing the riders' recommendations."

A tricky twisting section of road leading up to a roundabout at the four-kilometres to go mark outside of Carcassonne looks to be the driver behind the decision.

The move follows a swathe of complaints from the Tour de France peloton after the events of stage 3 in Pontivy, which was marred by multiple crashes on the narrow technical run-in to the finish. Bahrain Victorious rider Jack Haig was forced to abandon after a mass crash on a corner four kilometres from the finish, while numerous riders lost time. 

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) crashed hard in the nervous, high-speed finale, while Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) crashed after a late curve in the final 500 metres, with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) going down too. 

While UCI president David Lappartient blamed the riders for the crashes, Deceuninck-QuickStep's Tim Declercq said after that stage that the riders had requested that the three-kilometre rule be extended to the eight-kilometre mark, adding that  the request was ignored.

"I think it was something that we could've maybe expected," he said. 

"I knew from the riders that there was a demand to take the time at 8km to because we knew it was such a small road on the descent and a lot of chance for gaps to appear.

"With the demand we made to take the time at 8km to go, it's not going to change anything for the race unless they want to see crashes, but I hope nobody is like that.

"I think maybe we can learn lessons from this, the organisers and the UCI in the future. I became a father a year ago and it's something you think about. Nobody likes to crash, and it shouldn't be what cycling is about."

In protest, the riders staged a go-slow and temporarily halted racing at the start of the following day's stage 4 near Redon.

Tour de France 2021 stage 13 final kms

(Image credit: ASO)

Daniel joined Cyclingnews as staff writer in 2019 after working freelance at pretty much everywhere in cycling media for seven years.