Tour de France: Jean-François Pescheux lays down the law to in-race cars
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tour de France: Jean-François Pescheux lays down the law to in-race cars

by Ben Atkins at 8:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Injury
Regulations tightened to avoid a repeat of Sunday’s Hoogerland/Flecha incident

le tourJean-François Pescheux, the Tour de France director of competition, has reminded everybody in the convoy how they are to conduct themselves in the race. Regulations are being tightened in order to avoid a repeat of Sunday’s incident when a car, belonging to France Televisions, swerved into Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky), causing him and Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) to crash.

Flecha hit the road hard, but got away relatively lightly with some road rash. Hoogerland though, was sent flying into a barbed wire fence. The Dutchman has 33 stitches to deep cuts in both of his legs, and was forced to change his shorts before continuing; his original pair was ripped off him as he hit the barbed wire.

"What we witnessed two days ago was both unacceptable and shocking," said Pescheux before the start of stage ten. "In order to guarantee the security we have taken some measures.”

Pescheux then listed four measures that would be enforced during the race:

“The cars that want to follow the race [the break] must have a gap of two minutes but this depends on the nature of the road.

“Only eight vehicles - four from the organisers and four from the media - will be allowed behind the breakaway.

“Media cars must have at least two journalists with press passes.”

The last of the rules would be the one that was specifically pertinent to Sunday’s incident

“Vehicles must overtake a breakaway one-by-one after the instruction from race direction and must do so safely...” said Pescheux. “We ask all to respect security and the regulations, if not there will be sanctions.”

For the driver and passenger of the France Televisions car involved in Sunday’s incident, as well as the photo motorbike rider that brought down Nicki Sørensen (Saxo Bank-SunGard) on stage five, the sanction has been expulsion from the race. Whether they are subject to any further action, legal or otherwise, has yet to be decided.

“Security must be the priority," Pescheux concluded.


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