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Truck on course causes crash at Tour de Luxembourg

SkodaTour de Luxembourg 2020 5th stage Mersch Luxembourg 177 km 19092020 Mark Cavendish GBR Bahrain McLaren photo Gregory van GansenCVBettiniPhoto2020
Riders on the attack during the final stage of the Tour de Luxembourg (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The final stage of the Tour of Luxembourg was marred by another incident as a truck on the course caused a slowdown and crash in the peloton.

With 67km to go on the stage, and with the peloton heading up the Bourscheid climb, there was a bunching up in the peloton as riders slowed to avoid a truck parked on the inside of a corner.

The UCI have since stated, via a Twitter post, that the incidents at the race – including multiple traffic-related incidents during stage 1 – will be reviewed at an upcoming meeting of the UCI Management Committee.

"The multiple incidents reported throughout the event related to the shortcomings of the race organisation are not acceptable and will be investigated and reviewed at next week’s UCI Management Committee. The appropriate measures will he taken to ensure rider safety at events," read a post by official UCI account, UCI_Media.

A number of riders hit the deck and were held up in the crash, including Bahrain McLaren duo Fred Wright and Santiago Buitrago, Thomas Boudat (Arkéa-Samsic), Emiel Planckaert (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Thibault Ferasse (Natura4ever-Roubaix Lille Métropole).

Yevgeniy Gidich (Astana) looked to come off worst of the lot, sitting at the roadside with cuts and road rash before abandoning the race. Groupama-FDJ rider Ignatas Konovalovas, who got caught in open traffic on the first stage of the race, was seen sarcastically applauding during the incident.

The peloton held a protest on the second stage of the race, after a series of incidents on stage 1. Groupama-FDJ's Jacopo Guarnieri took to Twitter to detail the safety issues on the stage, which included cars parked on both sides of the road in the final, a bus parked at 4.5km to go, and Konovalovas having to ride through public traffic as he rode five minutes behind the peloton having worked at the front earlier on.

Riders neutralised the stage after 18km of racing, only starting racing again for the final 42km around the circuit in Hesperang.

After stage 5, Guarnieri once again took to Twitter to lament the safety issues at the race.

"I'm speechless for how poor is the organisation at [Skoda Tour] regarding security," he said. "This crash was so predictable as the sun coming up every morning. Nothing has changed since our call for more security in the 1st stage.

"Yesterday i was about to tweet because we got a tractor (yes) loaded of s#*t at the bottom of a descent on the road. Not parked, rolling on it when we're coming down. Then I was too tired to complain again. Luckily they did even better today."

The crash on stage 5 is the latest in a number of rider safety incidents since the season restarted, which so far have included Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) and Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) crashing on a poorly maintained descent at the Critérium du Dauphiné, poor quality roads causing crashes at the Tour de Wallonie, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) crashing over a low bridge at Il Lombardia, Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) getting hit by a car at the same race, Fabio Jakobsen's (Deceuninck-QuickStep) crash through weak barriers at the Tour de Pologne, and a spate of crashes on stage 1 of the Tour de France.

The UCI pledged to tighten race safety checks after the Dauphiné following complaints from riders and their union, the CPA. At the Tour de France, a number of riders joined a chat group with CPA representatives in order to improve communication on rider safety issues.