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by Mark Zalewski
March 31, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Durbridge narrowly takes TT win ahead of sprinters as Gilbert wins overall at De Panne; Kittel wins third road stage at Three Days of De Panne; Jones wins final stage of Tour de Taiwan, Prades takes overall; Kittel: Absolutely no doubt that disc brakes will play a role in the future of cycling; Flanders race jury president to focus on footpath riding infractions; Greg Daniel crashes at De Panne, revealing existing broken collarbone; Cookson insisted on contributing to report on British Cycling; UCI allows Tour of Turkey to postpone to the fall; Sagan criticised for push on Kemmelberg; Elinor Barker focusing on UCI Time Trial Championship in 2017; Rumours of Tour of Britain stages circulating; Acquisition of Pinarello by LVMH-backed private equity firm complete; Video: Cycling Chile and Bolivia – A wild adventure.
With the recent incidents of riders using footpaths or other ‘shortcuts’ to avoid riding on the cobbles of the Classics, the race jury president for the Tour of Flanders, Didier Simon, said that the infraction with be a point of emphasis for him and his officiating crew.
“I am aware of the problem,” he told Het Laatste Nieuws. “On Sunday it will be my responsibility. Either I or my colleagues must see the infringement with our own eyes and the rider must be able to be identified. If this is the case and the rider in question rides on a footpath in order to get even one meter advantage, then he is riding off course. No discussion. Write that down, so that the riders are notified.”
Simon did acknowledge that the issue is a problem, particularly if many riders break the rule. “What if the breakaway rides on the sidewalk and then half the peloton follows? It is all becoming too dangerous to tolerate. A rethink is imperative.”
One of the problems is with the way the rules are currently written, with a nominal fine or expulsion from the race as the only penalty options available to race officials — with people saying one is too easy and the other too harsh.
“This week I attended a commission in Rome,” said UCI commissioner Guy Dobbelaere. “We have talked extensively about it. The current maximum penalty per violation is 200 Swiss francs. A second option is [disqualification], but that is sometimes too drastic. Maybe it should happen, to set an example.”
Click through to read more at Het Laatste Nieuws.