Sex toys and safety concerns at the Bloeizone Fryslân Tour

Riders were forced to avoid oncoming cyclists and vehicles on what should have been a closed-circuit ITT course

Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.

Jump To Comments

Organisers of the standalone women’s race, EasyToys Bloeizone Fryslân Tour, (formerly known as the Healthy Ageing Tour) have come under fire for running a hazardous opening individual time trial on Thursday. The 14.4km course saw riders navigating vehicles backing out of driveways, and recreational cyclists coming towards riders.

The dangerous ITT comes after a number of early-season races have been marred by safety concerns, with calls for the UCI and other stakeholders to ensure that lower-level events are not treated as secondary where safety is concerned.

Women’s cycling union The Cyclists Alliance condemned the apparently open course saying:

“Christine Majerus (SD Worx) who represents women’s cycling on the UCI Safety Commission has spoken with CPA and The Cyclists Alliance to ensure that the race commissaires consider the risk that many riders encountered today due to the lack of policing of the ‘closed’ road for the ITT course. Many riders experienced some disruption to their race effort from recreational cyclists cycling towards the riders and vans pulling out of driveways to name a few examples. This puts the riders’ safety at risk and more must be done in the following stages to mitigate this risk. We have contacted the race organisers for details on how they plan to mitigate the risk for the following stages”.

UCI-recognised rider union, Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), usually allocates a representative at each race to report on safety and other matters and if necessary alert the UCI. CPA Women added their voice via Twitter, skewering both the safety concerns and the prizes given to stage winner Ellen van Dijk from race sponsor EasyToys: “We are beyond words that this incidents happened in a UCI race today. We are hugely disappointed @BloeizoneFrTour and we are at least relieved that no one was hurt. The ITT took place in open traffic and the prizes handed out after the race made the day even more surreal. #BFTT22.”

The world time trial champion herself saw the funny side of her podium gifts, however:

The race organiser also took to Twitter to defend the incidents of traffic on course, adding that they believe that organising time trials has become “hardly possible anymore”.

After the concerns raised, today’s 135km road stage will come under scrutiny to ensure that safety standards are met. As yet the UCI has not commented on the race and CPA have not outlined any action they may take if the safety issues continue.