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The opening stage of the first UCI bike race following road cycling’s long hiatus from competition was called off with around 30 kilometers to go on Wednesday.
Organizers at the UCI 2.2-rated Dookola Mazowsza in Poland halted the race due to the apparent crash of a non-race motorcycle at an intersection with the course before the peloton arrived.
“As it was a proper road accident, the police people need to come and the fire people need to come investigate the accident,” Israel Cycling Academy sports director Zak Dempster told CyclingTips by phone. “So the race was called off, that made it impossible to divert around the intersection.”
The start of the Dookola Mazowsza on Wednesday marked a return to UCI-sanctioned racing after months without, and the start list included the Israel Cycling Academy Continental squad, the CCC Development Team, the Elkov-Kasper team of former Bora-Hansgrohe rider Jan Bárta, and other Continental teams and national selections.
Dempster noted that the peloton seemed to handle the sudden cancellation of stage 1 calmly.
“In the situation where a race gets cancelled it’s usually because you’ve got a Bastille scenario where the riders are revolting, extreme weather protocol or something like that, some other incident,” Dempster said. “Usually it’s met with a fairly high degree of confusion and anger and things like that. Actually, everyone was relatively calm and understanding and took it on the chin.”
Although stage 1 was cancelled, the four-day race continues with a time trial near Warsaw on Thursday.