Vegni blasts Tour de France after rider security issues

07 August 2018 10:00
Mauro Vegni, the director of the Giro d’Italia, has suggested that the Tour de France organisers were responsible for the protests, booing and safety concerns at this year’s race due their stance against Chris Froome and Team Sky. This year’s Tour was hit by a series of events that often overshadowed the racing. Froome was often booed at stage starts, with one spectator trying to hit him during the stage to Alpe d’Huez and others spitting at Team Sky. Flares were occasionally lit as the riders passed, causing breathing problems and reducing visibility. Vincenzo Nibali suffered a fractured vertebra on Alpe d’Huez after a spectator’s camera strap seemingly caught his handlebars during a moment of chaos. When French farmers tried to block the peloton during a protest on stage 16, the gendarmerie responded with batons and pepper spray, which blew back into the peloton, irritating riders’ eyes.ADVERTISEMENT Froome, and Tour winner, Geraint Thomas played down the impact of the protests and incidents but Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford was more aggressive, going as far as suggesting that the hostile reception Team Sky faced was in some way a “French cultural thing.” He also criticised UCI president David Lappartient as having a “local French mayor kind of mentality”. Lappartient suggested that Brailsford offended the whole of France, with the Sky manager’s subsequent apologies having little effect. ASO had raised the tension before the start of the Tour de France by trying to block Froome’s presence at the race, even though they knew he was about to be cleared of any wrong doing in his drawn-out salbutamol case. “The way the Froome situation was managed was wrong. At the Giro, we always accepted that if the UCI said that Froome could race then we’d welcome him with open arms. If race organisers decide who is fit to race and who isn’t, they’re substituting the UCI and all the rules no longer exist,” Vegni said in the August issue of Italian cycling magazine Bicisport. The hooligans, the drunks and the people who aren’t from our world cause the problems You can read more at Cyclingnews.com . read full article

Source: Cycling News