The UCI also issue a statement on the incident at Ghent-Wevelgem which saw 25-year-old rider Antoine Demoitié lose his life on Sunday night

The president of the Professional Cyclists Association (CPA) Gianni Bugno has reiterated that rider safety must come first and for further improvements to rider safety protocols during races following the death of Antoine Demoitié on Sunday night.

The 25-year-old Wanty-Groupe Gobert rider crashed with a number of other riders during the 2016 Ghent-Wevelgem before a motorbike fell on top of him. He succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in Lille where he was immediately transported to for treatment.

>>> Wanty-Groupe Gobert refuse to blame moto driver for death of Antoine Demoitié

But the tragic incident has raised further questions over the safety of riders among other race vehicles like cars and motorbikes, particularly after several incidents of riders colliding with race vehicles last year, and an incident at the 2016 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne which saw Lotto-Soudal’s Stig Broeckx taken out by a motorbike.

The CPA released a statement on Monday morning in reference to the incident, with Bugno describing it as ‘time of sadness and sorrow’ but also a time of ‘frustration’. The Italian called on authorities to improve safety standards during races.

“At this time of sadness and sorrow for the death of Antoine, we do not want to make controversy, but we have so much frustration inside,” Bugno said.

“We have always stated that the safety of the riders must be in first place in the discussions of the cycling stakeholders and at the last CCP meeting, we have specifically asked to quickly communicate the strategies developed recently to improve security during the races.

“I do not want to accuse anyone but make everyone reflect on the responsibility we have to ensure that a very high level of attention, awareness, and control over safety standards is always maintained during each race.”

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Tributes to Demoitié, who only made his WorldTour debut at the E3 Harelbeke last Friday, flooded in from all corners of the cycling community on Monday, with UCI President saying in a statement that “Antoine will be truly missed. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and team.”

The UCI also said that it will “cooperate with all relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances of this tragic incident.”

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    True, but the riders and DS’s have been relatively complacent too. They should have gotten together and staged protests at race starts this year and agreed to stop a race when incidents happened. i.e. when the medical motorbike bowls a rider over just in front of your eyes, why isn’t there an immediate reaction? Waiting for the UCI to ‘wake up’ was not enough. ‘We wanna race – you guys sort it out’ is also part of the issue (albeit small). The DS’s should ask themselves if they couldn’t have done a little more in the form of protesting.

  • Derek Biggerstaff

    I don’t know anything about this particular case but you can see riders being put in danger by motor cars and motorbikes constantly in every race. This has to be obvious to all concerned yet nothing much gets done.

  • Chris

    “The UCI will cooperate with all relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances of this tragic incident”. B. Cookson
    Quite frankly it’s b****y obvious what the problems are, which have been coming to a head for over 12 months with numerous riders being knocked off by support and media motor vehicles. This tragic accident is the culmination of of lack of effective management from UCI..

  • Eden Walker

    saying in the article that the riders collided with the vehicles kind of lays blame on the riders when they were actually hit but the cars and the motorbikes, you might want to change your vernacular on that