The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) today announces that it has imposed a series of measures on the organisers of the Binck Bank Tour due to safety failings noted during the 2019 edition.
The event, which took place between 10 and 18 August 2019, provoked concerns among riders due to the dangerous nature of the course. The UCI and Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), the association representing riders, have held several discussions on how to improve the safety conditions of the event, including during the most recent meeting of the two bodies at the UCI’s headquarters last week.
Based on the report of the UCI Commissaires’ Panel, and having heard from the organisers, the UCI identified various situations constituting breaches of the UCI Regulations concerning event organisation and safety, and the Specifications for Organisers. Due to these breaches, the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) made the following rulings based on articles 2.12.009 and 2.12.012:
- The presence in 2020 of a Technical Advisor, appointed by the UCI and at the cost of the organisers.
- The implementation of a plan of action devised by the UCI and approved by the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) in preparation for the 2020 Binck Bank Tour.
- An evaluation of the standard of quality and safety of the organisation of the event, which will remain part of the UCI WorldTour Calendar in 2020. A decision regarding the status of the event will then be made based on that evaluation.
In addition, a fine was imposed on the organisers as part of a procedure of acceptance of consequences.
The UCI would like to underline the spirit of collaboration demonstrated by the organisers during this procedure and their willingness to improve the safety conditions of their event in order to meet the regulatory safety requirements of an event on the UCI WorldTour, the leading series of men’s professional road cycling.
Since 2017, the UCI Regulations have been modified to allow the UCI to preside over race safety in an appropriate manner, firstly through new rules concerning drivers which have made it possible to sanction several drivers for dangerous behaviour during races. Since 2019, a section specific to breaches on the part of organisers has enabled the UCI to make disciplinary rulings on, most notably, safety failings. This was invoked for the first time in the present case, and other procedures are ongoing.
The possibility of imposing sanctions on organisers is part of a series of important initiatives adopted by the UCI in recent years, in partnership with professional road cycling’s various stakeholders, in the effort to promote rider safety: the extreme weather protocol, the deployment of UCI Technical Advisors, guidelines for vehicle circulation in the race convoy and a reduction in the number of riders in races.
Lastly, during the recent meeting between the UCI and the CPA, the two parties agreed to enhance rider safety based on concrete proposals due to be submitted to the UCI Management Committee ahead of their implementation during the 2020 season.