CPA meets with Giro d'Italia organizers about safety concerns
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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

CPA meets with Giro d'Italia organizers about safety concerns

by VeloNation Press at 12:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 

Denis MenchovFollowing safety concerns during last year's race, the Professional Cyclists' Association's (CPA) interim President Paulo Couto has met with the organizers of the Giro d'Italia on behalf of the riders.

The circuit race through the city streets of Milan, which was designed to celebrate the the 100th Anniversary of the Italian Grand Tour, ended up being a disaster for organizers in 2009. The riders decided to protest the stage because they believed the racing conditions were too dangerous. It was decided that the times for the day would not be a factor for the general classification, and the only action of the day ended up being the sprinter's teams contesting the final kilometers.

While race director Angelo Zomegnan didn't agree with the peloton's decision, he realized that the best thing for the race was to work out a compromise and move on. The Italian believed that the riders were still in a bit of shock after the horrific fall of Pedro Horrillo (Rabobank) that occurred the previous day, and commented that the "Milan Show" stage would not have been an issue had that unrelated incident not occurred.

With the race set to begin in Amsterdam on May 8th, the CPA has decided to take a proactive approach and try to avoid any potential problems as the Tour heads south towards Italy.

"The transfer of the riders from Amsterdam to Italy must be in the best possible conditions. The tunnels must be in compliance with the regulations and well lit, and any possible risks during the last kilometers of the stage should be avoided," explained Couto in a statement to AFP. "The circulation of moto's in the peloton should be regulated to avoid crashes and dangerous passages need to be marked on the side of the road."

With the increase in "traffic furniture" and roundabouts to regulate traffic in Europe, it has become increasingly difficult for race organizers to avoid dangerous sections of road to traverse the countryside. Already this year several accidents have occurred in the final meters, where the potent mix of a charging peloton and irregular shifts in roadways wreak havoc on the peloton.

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