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Ineos Grenadiers’ Sir Jim Ratcliffe: there needs to be to ‘real action’ about crashes

Recent racing incidents that have left several favourites brutally injured means that the UCI needs to make changes

Ineos Grenadiers' Sir Jim Ratcliffe: there needs to be to ‘real action’ about crashes

Ineos Grenadiers owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has called for “real action” to ensure safety in cycling after several serious recent crashes in the pro peloton.

The Basque crash

A horrific crash at the Tour of the Basque Country race saw Jonas Vingegaard hospitalized and diagnosed with rib and collarbone fractures, as well as lung damage. The defending Tour de France champ was aiming for a third consecutive win this summer, but the extent of his injuries raises doubts about his participation. The same crash also took out Remco Evenepoel, who suffered a broken collarbone. Primož Roglič also crashed, but apart from some pretty brutal road rash, is relatively OK.

Wout van Aert’s spring ruined

Then there was the brutal crash of Wout van Aert. The Visma-Lease a Bikefractured his ribs and collarbone in the Dwars Door Vlaanderen. On Thursday, he announced he will be forced to skip the Giro d’Italia, which was a major goal of his.

Ratcliffe, wrote an open letter to the UCI asking for change.

“Governing bodies have made very few changes and serious accidents are a common occurrence,” the 71-year-old began. “In Formula 1, when Ayrton Senna had his fatal crash 30 years ago in Italy, the governing body set out to transform the safety regulations of one of the world’s most dangerous sports and significantly reduced injuries as a result. This contrasts starkly with cycling.  As recently as last week, we had yet another horrific crash involving three of the world’s top cyclists.”

UCI needs to take real action about crashes, A.S.A.P

Ratcliffe said that the UCI needs to address the situation and provide solutions to prevent further incidents which have resulted in serious injuries.

“Cyclists are always going to push things to the limit as they are elite sportspeople and that is why action is so important. We now need to see real action to ensure the safety of the sport.”

In 2023, Swiss rider Gino Mäder from Bahrain Victorious died during the Tour of Suisse on a descent. Since then, some measures have been taken on tricky descents and corners. Adam Hansen of the riders union, the CPA said that resurfacing certain descents with new asphalt and placing audio warning signs before corners to alert riders can help.Also, padding is being installed on barriers around hazardous turns.

Roubaix safety measures

At Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix riders were funnelled through a series of chicanes and a U-Turn before the Arenberg forest cobbled section to slow them down. In past years, riders were going over 60 km/h leading up to it, and often resulted in crashes at high speeds.

Ratcliffe’s team Ineos-Grenadiers has had several serious accidents in recent years, including life-threatening injuries to four-time Tour winner Chris Froome in 2019 and 2019 Tour winner Egan Bernal, who suffered injuries in a 2022 training accident in Colombia when he collided with the back of a bus. It’s not clear what the UCI could have done to prevent these, however.

You can read the entire letter below: