For the first time at the UCI Road World Championships, cycling’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), organized a safe-driving awareness course for National Federations’ Sport Directors. This new initiative is part of the UCI’s program to increase riders’ safety during races.
UCI International Commissaire, Philippe Mariën, addressed a wide-range of Sport Directors (Directeur Sportifs – DS) during this year’s World Championships in Innsbruck.
The training offered by the UCI at the Worlds is part of a growing investment by the International Federation in this domain over the last years.
A document entitled Guidelines for Vehicle Circulation in the Race Convoy provides a regulatory framework for all vehicles in the race convoy. Experienced and renowned technical advisers, often former riders, are present before and during the races.
In 2017, more than 800 people participated in courses proposed by the UCI, with emphasis on new events on the UCI WorldTour calendar. In 2018, event organizers were responsible for the initiative. The demand remained high, with 655 registrations for 12 courses from the Tour de France to the Grand Depart of the Giro d’Italia in Israel and the European Championships in Glasgow.
“We see more and more organizers and National Federations using these courses to train drivers for races at a lower level or for national competitions,” says Vincent Jourdain. “The medium-term goal is to extend this education to Federations for class 1, class 2 and national events.”
The UCI works with representatives of riders (CPA), teams (AIGCP) and organizers (AIOCC) to ensure the largest participation possible of road cycling’s key players.
“The success of our work to raise awareness requires the implication of everyone in the convoy: cars, motorbikes, marshals, medical assistance, riders… We can produce guidelines, have meetings, organise training, but the safety of the riders is also the responsibility of riders. They are part of the solution,” concludes Jourdain.
According to the UCI, no dangerous driving behavior was cited at this year’s World Championships.
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