Riders hit the brakes at Tour de France in protest of Stage 3 crashes

It was a slow start to stage four at the Tour de France on Tuesday with riders performing a go-slow protest in response to the crazy conclusion of the previous stage.

The peloton hit the brakes after the neutral zone stopping the race in its tracks before riding the first 10 kilometres of the stage at a gentle pace.

The protest comes after a wild conclusion to stage three on Monday which featured a number of major crashes in the final kilometres on the narrow, technical roads approaching Pontivy.

Race favourite Primoz Roglic was one of many riders who went to ground, with Aussies Jack Haig and Caleb Ewan forced to retire from this year’s Tour de France after suffering serious injuries.

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A statement from the CPA riders association said that riders have called for discussions with the UCI and race organisers to improve rider safety.

The Peloton specifically wants the implementation of ‘the three-kilometre rule’ which gives riders the time of the group they were riding in if they were to crash or have a mechanical in the final three kilometres of a stage.

"Following the crashes during the third stage of the Tour de France, the riders have been discussing how they wish to proceed to show their dissatisfaction with safety measures in place and demand their concerns are taken seriously. Their frustration about foreseeable and preventable action is enormous," read the CPA statement.

"The riders wish to stress their respect for their sponsors, their sports groups, the organiser, their international institution. Supporters are very important to them – and this is why they will be riding today.



"In return, the riders of the Tour de France ask for the same respect - respect for their safety."

Deceuninck-Quickstep rider Tim Declercq revealed that riders had asked for general classification times to be recorded at the eight-kilometre mark, but their request was denied.

Riders Andre Greipel and Michael Kwiatkowski as well as Groupama-FDJ team boss Marc Madiot led a wave of criticism towards race organisers at the conclusion of Monday’s race.

"We have to do something or otherwise there will end up being deaths," Madiot said

"We've been talking about this for years, and we need to find solutions, we can't just go on like that." 

UCI president David Lappartient defended the route used for the stage and blamed rider error for the crashes.



"The roads were fine, a constant width and there were no traffic islands. It was technical, but there was a nice finishing straight, it’s just that everybody was going fast because Pontivy is at the bottom of a steep valley,” he said.

"The majority of crashes are due to a lack of attention but I can understand them [the riders], they are so stressed out during the entire day. And inevitably it’s edgy [in the peloton], everybody wants to be up there [at the front], and there’s not enough space for everybody. But I don’t think one should blame that on the route.”


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3 min read
Published 30 June 2021 at 12:17am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS