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“If the UCI says ‘no’ then that’s not great. They are saying they want safety, making safety commissions, but then they don’t decide anything. [Too many meetings] without ever making a decision.”

Photo: ANSA - PERI / DI MEO / ZENNARO

GIRO D'ITALIA

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
03.12.2016 @ 09:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

“We wanted to give a signal; we’ve been talking about safety and safety for many years, but the reality is nothing changes. In an interview with VeloNews , Giro d’Italia race director Mauro Vegni has explained why RCS Sport has teamed up with ASO and Flanders Classic to launch a proposal of smaller teams in the biggest races ensure greater safety in the peloton.

 

Several sports directors have reacted negatively to the idea and the UCI has rejected the proposal, but that has not had an effect on Vegni’s stance.

 

“If the UCI says ‘no’ then that’s not great,” he said. “They are saying they want safety, making safety commissions, but then they don’t decide anything. [Too many meetings] without ever making a decision.”

 

The goal is to send a signal to UCI president Brian Cookson with the hope that he will make a significant response to one of the hottest topics in recent years. 

 

“It’s a bit of a provocation,” Vegni added. “Us three organizers are standing together and saying we are ready to do something, otherwise it just stays the same. It’s been three or four years, and we’ve not seen anything.”

 

The decision is not based only on the safely issue. Less riders per team could make it more difficult to control a race, adding a factor of unpredictability that would benefit the show. The last Tour de France, with the dominance of Team Sky has given further impetus to the debate. 

 

“We are at the risk of viewers becoming bored in front of the TV,” Vegni said. “We want to see riders race and make the race, not the usual escape of three hours, then at 15 kilometers to go, the group takes them.”

 

The discussion is likely to continue for the next few weeks, making it diffult for the teams that are currenty preparing the start of the season. A reduction of the team sizes would involve a review of the programs of the various WorldTour teams. The next meeting in Professional Cycling Council will be held in December and here the issue will be discussed.

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