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Cyclistes Professionels Associés (CPA) Puts Demands on UCI Regarding Rider Safety

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The Cyclistes Professionels Associés (CPA), has called upon the UCI to implement a stronger rules regarding rider safety and the operation of in-race vehicles.

The UCI’s management committee met in Lausanne, Switzerland over the last two days to discussion a range of topics, wherein the CPA submitted a list of safety demands calling for cycling’s governing body to take swift action in implementing standardized safety measures for riders – instead of leaving it up to individual race organizers.

One of the main areas of concern outlined by the CPA, is the “race caravan”, and the steps they believe should be taken in order to improve the role and positioning of in-race vehicles in relationship to the riders. 

While the CPA is not calling for a reduction in the number of race vehicles, it is demanding the regulation of speed limits when passing the peloton, along with more stringent levels of certification for drivers, and harsher punishment for improper driving.

Below is the CPA’s outline of demands that were submitted to the UCI.

from the CPA…

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Date: 18 May 2016
From: Gianni Bugno, CPA President
To: UCI Pro Cycling Council; UCI Road Commission Subject: Security Plan

Prologue: Current UCI Regulations on Safety

According to the UCI Regulations the UCI accepts no responsibility for course design, the conduct of the caravan, or the safety of riders in general. Instead all responsibility is placed on the race organizer:

UCI Regulation 1.2.033: “Monitoring by the UCI, national federations and by the commissaires of the conduct of the race shall concern only the sporting requirements and the organiser alone shall be answerable for the quality and safety of the organisation and installations.”

UCI Regulation 1.2.035: “The organiser shall take whatever safety measures caution demands…The organiser shall ensure that the race may take place under the best material conditions for all parties concerned, riders, attendants, officials, commissaires, journalists, security services, medical services, sponsors, the public, etc…”

UCI Regulation 1.2.061: “…the organiser shall ensure that the race course includes no places or situations that could constitute a particular safety risk to anyone (rider, attendants, official, spectators, etc.).”

UCI Regulation 1.2.063: “In no case can the UCI be held responsible for defects in the course or installations of for any accidents that may occur.”

UCI Regulation 2.2.018: “In no case can the UCI be held responsible for any defects in the course or accidents that may occur.”

UCI must expand its mandate to develop and publish technical safety specifications applicable to UCI-sanctioned road races; monitor compliance; enforce penalties for violations; and dispatch UCI resources to assist organisers to meet the minimum standard.

Safe Course Design Inside 3 km

Problem: The absence of clear UCI Regulations for safe course design results in unnecessarily dangerous finales and avoidable crashes, as we have recently seen in: Stage 1 of 2015 Pais Vasco; Stage 2 of Qatar 2016; and the 2016 Le Tour de La Provence.

The UCI Regulations currently contain only one rule related to course safety inside the final 3 kilometers:

UCI Regulation 2.2.017: A zone of at least 300 meters before and 100 meters after the finishing line shall be protected by barriers. It shall be accessible exclusively to representatives of the organiser, riders, paramedical assistants, sports directors and accredited personnel.

Proposed Solution: new UCI Regulations mandating best practices for safe course design inside the final 3 km.

§1. RECONNOITERING AND HAZARD IDENTIFICATION

1.1 The final 3km shall be reconnoitered and a Mandatory Risk Assessment shall be completed and made available upon request, to the following parties, a minimum of 30 days before the day of the race – A guide to completion of the mandatory risk assessment is appended to this document:

• The President of the UCI Commissaires’ Panel • A representative of the AIGCP
• A representative of the CPA

1.3 Theroadmustbeclearofanydebrisand,ifnecessary,shallbesweptbeforethearrivalof the first riders.

1.5 The organiser shall request the public authorities to adapt or remove obstacles inside the final 3 km (removal of plastic bollards screwed to the ground, smoothing out speed bumps, etc.). If the removal of an obstacle is not possible, it shall be protected as follows in §2.

1.2

The condition of the final 3km shall be reconnoitred on the day before the race, the morning of the race, and again within a minimum of 30 minutes of the arrival of the first riders.

1.4

Bridge expansion joints and tram lines shall be temporarily filled in with plaster or covered by a rubber strip securely attached so that it will not move out of place as the race vehicles pass over it.

 
§2. PROTECTION FROM OBSTACLES

2.1 Ridersshallbeprotectedfromtrafficislands,centralreservationsandanyotherobstacles

taller than 5 cm by the careful positioning of wrapped straw bales.

2.3 The organiser shall allocate two marshals with whistles and yellow flags to obstacles taller than 5 cm: the first person shall be positioned 50-100 m before the obstacle; the second person shall be immediately in front of or behind the obstacle.

§3. THE FINISH

3.1 Barriers shale set upon both sides of the road for a minimum of 500m before the line and 100 m after.

3.3 Barriers shall be firmly anchored to the ground so that strong winds or spectators cannot knock barriers over.

3.5 The event announcer shall pass on messages urging the public to take care and in particular not to cross the road.

3.7 Riders shall be preceded by a vehicle to clear the route for them. This vehicle shall accelerate in the final 800 m to cross the line at least 30 seconds ahead of the first rider.

3.9 The finishing straight shall be kept completely unobstructed until the last rider has finished.

2.2 In addition to this protection, riders shall be warned of approaching dangers. These warnings shall be both visible and audible.

2.4

Signs indicating a narrowing of the road or a roundabout shall be located 200 m and 100m before the danger point to ensure the riders are fully aware of the danger.

3.2 Barriers for the last 400m shall have hidden bases, such that the feet of the barriers do not encroach on the roadway.

3.4 Any advertising media such as boards, flags or inflatables, shall be firmly anchored so that they cannot become detached in strong winds.

3.6 The organizer is responsible for controlling access to the finish line. Access shall be restricted to accredited persons (organisation staff, security personnel, team staff, photographers, journalists, etc.).

3.8

Motorcycle photographers shall arrive before the race and park on the roadway in an area reserved for them.

 
Race Caravan Safety

1. Certification, Education, Experience of Drivers

Experienced drivers possess an understanding of the movement and dynamics of the peloton. Experienced drivers who study the course map make better decisions about when and how to pass riders (for example, choosing not to pass on narrow, twisting descents).

The UCI should create additional levels of certification for vehicle drivers and motorbike pilots based on race day experience and attendance of continuing education seminars. Poor performance by drivers should lead to demotion (see Section 2. below).

The following is applicable to ANY vehicle moving past the peloton or accompanying the peloton at the front or rear of the race. This includes, but is not limited to, race organizers, security personnel, media, soigneurs, sports directors, police, neutral service, commissaires, promotional vehicles and VIP transport.

2. Score & Track Performance of Drivers / a “near miss” reporting culture

All drivers in the caravan shall wear a clearly visible number on their person and vehicle/motorcycle. Riders, team personnel, or any other person present in the race may report dangerous driver behavior. Reports of poor performance by drivers will lead to demotion in certification level, and threaten eligibility to drive in future races.

UCI must establish a Near-Miss Reporting system which will (1) enable the UCI to identify risks and take action to prevent the next tragedy and (2) engage the peloton and other workers to participate in solving problems.

3. Speed Limits

Motorcycles and vehicles shall pass the peloton while traveling at a speed no greater than 10km/hr faster than the traveling speed of the peloton when within five (5) meters of a rider.

4. Motorcycles use off-course roads to pass the peloton

5. Size of the peloton

Before a reduction of the peloton is discussed as a viable option, a thorough quantitative study must be completed which compares the number and severity of crashes occurring in large peloton races and smaller peloton races.

6. Number of motorcycles

A majority of professional riders do not believe a reduction of motorbikes will result in fewer crashes. As stated above, most motorbikes perform safety functions. Reducing their number will likely make the courses unsafe in other ways (un-manned road junctions, un-marshaled hazards,etc.). Therefore, pro riders advocate for reforms focused on increasing the use of well-trained and experienced drivers, and improving the maneuvers when motorbikes are in close proximity to riders.

The Mandatory 3km Risk Assessment

The 3km Risk Assessment is a document listing risks to rider and/or spectator safety located within the last 3km of the race, and identifying sensible measures to control those risks.

Organisers use the Risk Assessment to identify risks and any potential contraventions of the 3km regulations well in advance of the race. The document also serves as a record of the organiser’s attention to safety in the event of an incident calling for review.

The Risk Assessment document is only required for the last 3km of the course, however, it is highly recommended that organisers carry this process out across the entirety of the course.

The examples at left show only the required elements, however organisers are encouraged to add any additional detail over and above these required elements in order to offer a greater level of information. For example, photographs of the obstacles themselves.

The exact format of the document can be decided upon by the organiser, but must include the following elements for each identified risk:

  1. Descriptionoftherisk
  2. Level of risk — low orhigh
  3. Location
  4. Control Measures
 Any and all risks to the riders, in the last 3km, must be recorded within this assessment. These could be obstacles, junctions, areas exposed to strong winds, spectator areas, feed zones etc.
 

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