• Primož Roglič's injuries incurred during a fall on a dangerous descent during the Criterium du Dauphine eventually led to him abandoning the race (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The Criterium du Dauphine peloton protested poor road conditions at the race with a go-slow for the first few kilometres of the final stage of the race.
SBS Cycling Central

17 Aug 2020 - 10:20 AM 

A day after Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) called the descent where four riders crashed and subsequently abandoned the Criterium du Dauphine 'a disgrace', riders protested the poor conditions with a go-slow at the start of the final stage.

The protest was not caught on camera as the television broadcast hadn't yet started.

The protest had been in regards to the conditions on the descent from the Col de Plan Bois, and also horrific crashes at the Giro Il Lombardia. In the Italian monument, a crash on a narrow bridge saw star youngster Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) tumble a long way into a ravine, before a member of the public's car collided with Max Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe) later in the race. 

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"It was a disgrace that that descent was in a race," said Dumoulin of the Dauphine descent. "The whole descent was really tricky but the first two or three kilometres were full of gravel, pot-holes, bumps in the road, 15 per cent drops down. That they still put things like this in a race is… well, I'm really angry about it and I'm pretty sorry for Stevie (Kruijswijk) that he has to go home because of this because he was in great shape."

The Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), the riders' union, has been criticised in the past for inactivity regarding the safety and conditions of its members. It released a statement as well as organising the protest at the Dauphine stage. 

"The CPA asks the UCI (cycling's governing body) and all stakeholders of cycling to set up a round table to start the revision of the regulations to get a clear feedback in terms of prevention and sanctions towards the race organizers. The purpose of this is to protect the physical integrity of the riders and to allow them to carry out their work in greater safety," the CPA said in a statement.

Jumbo-Visma were hit hard in the Dauphine crash, losing 2019 podium-getter at the Tour de France Steven Kruijswijk along with reigning Vuelta a Espana champion and then-Dauphine leader Primož Roglič due to effects of the crash.

"I have talked a lot about this with other team leaders and we all say: we cannot continue to expose our riders to danger. We no longer have confidence in the controls that the UCI does," Jumbo-Visma director Richard Plugge told Netherlands television channel NOS.

"For example, there must be special conditions for the last kilometre with a bunch sprint, but also how barriers must be placed along the course.

"We hope that these can be introduced for next season. An (external) company can then say to the organization: it must be better, this is not good enough. That way problems can be solved, because it simply has to be safer for our riders."

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