The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) today publishes a guide for rider safety at men's and women's road cycling events. This document, aimed mainly at organisers, teams and riders, gives an instructive explanation of the new measures in force from 2021.
These measures, announced on 4 February after being adopted by the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) and the UCI Management Committee, are part of a global plan for rider safety, announced in 2020. Given that safety is a shared concern, the development of this ambitious plan was a concerted effort.
A working group set up and led by the UCI, composed of representatives of the AIOCC (organisers), AIGCP (teams) and CPA (riders), met several times during the second half of 2020 to draw up the measures. Over this same period, other working groups met to examine specific points. The PCC, which includes representatives of different cycling families, spoke out on two occasions, first to approve the principles of the new measures, then the rules necessary for their implementation. Finally, at the beginning of February, the UCI Management Committee formally accepted the measures which were then announced.
These measures, detailed and explained in the guide published today, obey two fundamental principles: firstly, the absolute need for rider safety, and the duty of our sport to set an example to the public – especially young cyclists – and communities. In both cases, our sport, at the initiative of the UCI, has decided to take strong measures and, as far as possible, anticipate future problems. At all times, all cycling’s players must lead the way with their conduct, especially in the areas of safety and the protection of the environment. There is no pace in modern cycling for risk behaviour and the throwing of bottles into the countryside.
Certain measures have come into force immediately, while others will be introduced on 1st April or later. All of them apply to the totality of men's and women's events on the UCI Road International Calendar. Stakeholders will continue to be consulted throughout 2021.
This plan, conceived collectively and unanimously approved, can only be effective with the collaboration of all concerned in the implementation of its measures: event organisers firstly, but also teams and their riders, as well as the UCI and others present at races, such as motorbike riders and vehicle drivers. Everyone will sometimes have to modify their habits and practices.
With all players having a role to play in safety, the UCI has assumed its share of responsibility with the joint development of measures and their accompanying rules (and sanctions). Moreover, our Federation will contribute to the improvement of rider safety via the following actions:
-The recruitment of a Safety Manager to its Sports Department, dedicated to safety and the supervision of safety at events on the UCI Road International Calendar;
-The commissioning and funding of studies on the improvement of the installation and choice of barriers, especially in the finale of events, with a view to establishing new standards from 2022;
-The appointment of an independent service provider to establish a database of incidents that have occurred at men's and women's events on the UCI International Road Calendar in the last five years, allowing for more effective targeting of actions to be taken by the UCI for in-race safety, and the development of a tool enabling organisers to benefit from an evaluation of their race route, several weeks before the start of the event. Starting at the end of April, events will be selected for a testing phase to evaluate their race routes. These evaluations will be progressively applied to additional events during the season.
The measures in the last two points will apply initially to UCI WorldTour and UCI Women’s WorldTour events, then will be progressively introduced to more events on the UCI Road International Calendar.
Using diagrams to help visualise each situation, the guide examines the new rules concerning each group (organisers, teams, riders and the UCI) which are part of a global rider safety plan.
In a video message to cycling families (link), the UCI President David Lappartient placed emphasis on the importance of these new measures, especially for the riders, on the necessity for our sport to inspire future generations, and on the fact that this plan was and will remain the fruit of a collaboration between stakeholders both in its implementation and its development.
“I thank road cycling’s different families for their participation in the development of measures to protect rider safety, which were announced after being approved by the Professional Cycling Council and the UCI Management Committee,” declared UCI President David Lappartient. “All these measures, which are solutions to concerns expressed by different stakeholders, will make road cycling safer for its main players, the riders. It is now essential for everyone to respect the new regulations, which the UCI will continue to work on improving, always in consultation with all those concerned.”
“The safety of male and female riders has always been a priority of the CPA,” said its President Gianni Bugno, “and we fully support the decisions that were taken at the last UCI Management Committee on 4 February, after a consultation process in which our representatives participated alongside the other cycling families. Our sport now has a coherent and comprehensive plan for rider safety, including a calendar of actions, which means all concerned – organisers, teams and riders, as well as the UCI - will need to assume their responsibilities, requiring efforts to be made by all to increase safety at races. We look forward to the implementation of the measures announced, to see an end to avoidable accidents.”
The AIGCP President Iwan Spekenbrink declared: “As it did during the consultation process, the AIGCP will continue to commit to the safety of riders and personnel in races, which remains its priority, this time thanks to the implementation of measures adopted by all involved in professional cycling; race organisers, teams, their riders and personnel, and the UCI. Throughout the process, our primary goal has been to bring about a safer race environment including a stricter regulatory framework when it comes to complying with these measures. We recognise that there are in-race dynamics where we also have our part to play, namely, by making our personnel and riders aware of the necessity to adopt appropriate conduct when it comes to the handling of vehicles in the race convoy and bikes in competition. We look forward to closely following the implementation of these measures and the progress that will follow.”
President of the AIOCC Christian Prudhomme said: “Safety is and will always be the priority of organisers: safety of the public, of all people implicated in events and, of course, of the principal players in the races, the riders. This mission – which is essential – is also a real challenge. We do not own the road; it is public territory and cannot be modified according to our wishes. The variety of venues, from one city to another, from one day to the next, requires an ability to be highly adaptable. The challenge is even greater today with an ever-increasing amount of road furniture. To make our events more secure, it is necessary to take a global approach: this is what the UCI wanted by bringing together representatives of riders, teams and organisers during several meetings. The new measures are the fruit of their common reflection, as in this domain, and others, it is only by working together that we will succeed.”