Aislinn Laing

BMC team boss wants action from UCI after race vehicles injure riders

BMC manager Jim Ochowicz is demanding that the UCI comes up with a solution after the recent spate of vehicles colliding with riders during races

BMC Team Boss Wants Action From UCI After Race Vehicles Injure Riders

Jim Ochowicz

BMC Racing1 General Manager Jim Ochowicz wants answers and solutions from the UCI2 after vehicles have caused cyclists to crash in recent races. Ochowicz wrote an open letter to the governing body s president, Brian Cookson3, on Monday. It follows this weekend s events, where BMC cyclist Danilo Wyss4 fell due to a TV motorbike in La Dr me Classic and a medic s motorbike clipped Stig Broeckx (Lotto-Soudal) in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne5.

This has got to stop before the headlines in the future are of a more disturbing nature than what we have seen in 2015 and now again in 2016, Ochowicz wrote. To the UCI, I am turning to you for answers and solutions.

>>> Lotto-Soudal file complaint against motorbike rider who knocked off Stig Broeckx6

The American team manager already penned a letter last year when a television motorbike caused his rider to crash in the Cl sica San Sebasti n7. On a climb travelling at slow speeds, the motorbike swerved and clipped the back wheel of Greg Van Avermaet. He went from leading to rolling in a grassy ditch. Brit Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) won the race.

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In the Tour of Flanders last spring, the Shimano neutral car knocked both Jesse Sergent and S bastien Chavanel off their bikes. Motorbikes did the same to Jakob Fuglsang in the Tour de France, and Sergio Paulinho and Peter Sagan in the Vuelta a Espa a8. The collisions resulted in broken bones and missed races already too much, says Ochowicz.

On September 1, 2015, less than one year ago, I wrote a similar letter after an alarming number of crashes involving vehicles had taken place in the peloton since the beginning of the 2015 season.

Despite my reaching out for help at that time, the problem became even more prominent as the season went on and we watched in disbelief. Now here I am again asking the powers to be to take notice, Ochowicz wrote in his letter to Cookson.

BMC Team Boss Wants Action From UCI After Race Vehicles Injure Riders

Jim Ochowicz (left) has written to UCI president Brian Cookson (right) asking for immediate action to prevent any more collisions involving race vehicles

This weekend we saw two serious incidents take place that involved vehicles on the race course taking down riders on live television at La Dr me Classic in France and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in Belgium. Incredible!

The riders deserve far more respect than what they are receiving from those who are responsible for protecting their safety. We all understand that there exists an element of danger in the sport of cycling from a number of places and conditions but no rider expects to be run down from behind by an over-enthusiastic pilot on a closed race course. Disgraceful!

>>> These are the times when support vehicles have hit riders in the past 12 months (videos)9

At the time this article was published, the UCI had not yet responded to Cycling Weekly as to how it plans to respond. The UCI s Road Commission met in September and vowed to perform a full review of the current regulations. Following Stig Broeckx s incident on Sunday, Belgian team Lotto-Soudal filed a complaint10 and explained that it wants to see concrete measures taken to increase the safety of the riders.

Former professional and cyclists union president C dric Vasseur said, The UCI is not serious in facing this problem.

They talk and say they will brainstorm, but it s not about that now, you have to act at this point.


  1. ^ BMC Racing (
  2. ^ UCI (
  3. ^ Brian Cookson (
  4. ^ BMC cyclist Danilo Wyss (
  5. ^ motorbike clipped Stig Broeckx (Lotto-Soudal) in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (
  6. ^ >>> Lotto-Soudal file complaint against motorbike rider who knocked off Stig Broeckx (
  7. ^ television motorbike caused his rider to crash in the Cl sica San Sebasti n (
  8. ^ Peter Sagan in the Vuelta a Espa a (
  9. ^ >>> These are the times when support vehicles have hit riders in the past 12 months (videos) (
  10. ^ Belgian team Lotto-Soudal filed a complaint (

Tour Down Under: Ben Swift second behind Simon Gerrans on stage four

Second consecutive stage win for Simon Gerrans sees the Australian strengthen his lead in the Tour Down Under
– Photos by Graham Watson

Tour Down Under: Ben Swift Second Behind Simon Gerrans On Stage Four

Simon Gerrans wins stage 4 of the 2016 Tour Down Under

Simon Gerrans1 pipped Ben Swift2 to win stage four of the Tour Down Under3 and strengthen his lead on the overall classification. Gerrans followed the wheel of lead-out man Daryl Impey in the closing metres of a reduced group sprint with Swift (Sky) unable to come around the Australian in Victor Harbor.

I really worked hard for this year s event, put in a big pre-season so it s nice the work is starting to pay off, the 35-year-old said of his second consecutive stage triumph. Gerrans has a handy 14 second buffer on Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff) heading into tomorrow s queen stage at Willunga with Sky s Sergio Henao sitting fifth in the general classification, 28 seconds in arrears of the leader.

Tour Down Under: Ben Swift Second Behind Simon Gerrans On Stage Four

Geraint Thomas and Sergio Henao at the front of the peloton

Henao furthered his advantage in the mountain classification claiming the single KOM prime, which featured in the punchy 138km run, as Richie Porte4 (BMC) was unable to stay with the Colombian. The peloton sped out of Norwood this morning with Orica-GreenEdge controlling the pace to ensure Gerrans took a maximum time bonus at the first intermediate sprint. A three-man break including David Tanner (IAM), Pat Shaw (UniSA Australia) and Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r La Mondiale) was then allowed to escape, achieving a maximum time advantage over five minutes.

Tour Down Under: Ben Swift Second Behind Simon Gerrans On Stage Four

David Tanner leads an escape on stage 4 of the 2016 Tour Down Under

The trio, however, were slowly reeled in as the general classification teams, including Tinkoff, began to mobilise in the approach to the categorised Crows Nest Rd climb within the final 30km. The pace up the climb proved too much for some and the peloton split with an elite group of about 40 riders left to determine the race. Sky took charge within the last 12km, hitting the front as Peter Kennaugh and Ian Stannard dictated the tempo.

>>> Tour Down Under 2016: Latest news, reports and info5

The outfit led the race into the technical finish on the esplanade protecting Henao and also setting up Swift for a dash to the line. Katusha took over with two kilometres to go before Impey, Gerrans and McCarthy all moved up for the final run to the line. The Colombian Henao, who has twice now shown his climbing form at the race, will have another opportunity on Willunga tomorrow, with Gerrans still watchful.

We ve got a nice little buffer there but there s still a heck of a lot of work to be done, he said.

>>> Tour Down Under 2016: Stage by stage6


Tour Down Under 2016, stage four: Norwood to Victor Harbor, 138km
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 3-13-59
2. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4. Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff

Leigh Howard (Aus) IAM Cycling
6. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
7. Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Katusha
8. Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Katusha
9. Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data
10. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL Jumbo at same time

Overall classification after stage four
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 13-41-58
2. Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff at 14 secs
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing at 18 secs

Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale at 24 secs
5. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky at 28 secs
6. Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Team Movistar at 28 secs

Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r La Mondiale at 28 secs
8. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale at 32 secs
9. Rafael Valls Ferri (Esp) Lotto-Soudal at 36 secs

Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing at 36 secs

Tour Down Under: Ben Swift Second Behind Simon Gerrans On Stage Four

The peloton on stage four

Tour Down Under: Ben Swift Second Behind Simon Gerrans On Stage Four

Richie Porte rides ahead of Peter Kennaugh


  1. ^ Simon Gerrans (
  2. ^ Ben Swift (
  3. ^ Tour Down Under (
  4. ^ Richie Porte (
  5. ^ >>> Tour Down Under 2016: Latest news, reports and info (
  6. ^ >>> Tour Down Under 2016: Stage by stage (

10 steps to safer festive travel

10 tips for safer Discount Holidays © holiday travel.

Approximately four million people in the UK Discount Holidays © holiday over the festive period. Following a year that has seen the events of Tunisia, Egypt and most recently Paris, it is clear holidaymakers need help to assess risk when travelling over Christmas. Here Frank Brehany, consumer director of HolidayTravelWatch, shares his 10 point plan for safer Discount Holidays © holiday travel.

Use numerous sources in your research
Don t rely on one hard copy brochure or one online website for information on your intended destination.

Read the local news to find out about the current state of affairs in that country. Use Google searches, for example Egypt English Language Newspapers ‘Turkey English Radio Stations to access news in the area. Reviews or other sources not in English can be copied and pasted into Google Translate for a reasonable translation. See what they say about:
*Security in the country, do they advise on any risks?
*Security in your resort and the nearby hotels
* If you are travelling with children and intend to use kids clubs, what do they say about staffing, qualifications and the security of these clubs?
* Will you be able to access resort representation in any 24 hour period?

Seek security advice
Do your research and collate security information from as many sources as possible. For example, currently there are varying levels of advice for travellers going to Spain. Whilst the FCO offers limited advice on safety and security the US State department website offers more detail for travellers.
* Check what news channels have to say about life in the country you intend to visit. Don t rely on UK channels, continuing with Spain as an example, AlJazeera provides good coverage on key political and security issues in Spain.
* Visit various Travel review websites not just Tripadvisor. Also visit other UK sites or those in Europe Zoover is a good source to read what other Nationalities have to say.
* Ask yourself: What is the level of any terrorist and crime threat? What is the record on Human Rights?

How is tourism protected in the area?
* Be aware of customs in terms of reporting crime. In Spain you can do this at your hotel reception, you will be given a receipt and you then have to attend the local police station to receive an official stamp to confirm the crime.

Take a tour on Google Maps
As you gather information on your resort or destination use Google Maps and go for a walk around the hotel/resort you would like to go to and check:
* Does your intended hotel have good surroundings and security?
* What are the streets around the hotel like; are there potential escape routes?
* Can you see police patrols?
* What do the streets look like as you walk to the beach; are there any signs of neglect, graffiti or protest?

Create a score
Score your destination in terms of risk against terrorism, crime, Human Rights and Tourist Protection to help you gain a comprehensive perspective of risk:

Apply the following score to each heading (remember this is your personal view or instinct):

0 = No Risk

1 = Very Low Risk

2 = Low Risk

3 = Moderate Risk

4 = High Risk

5 = Very High Risk

In applying this score you should carefully analyse all aspects, what for example, goes against travel to this destination. Measure this against the positive measures or steps taken to protect security you have discovered? Use the score card as your first base; don t make an immediate decision about your intended travel unless of course the risk is evidently high.

10 Steps To Safer Festive Travel

Picture credit: iStock

Deliver your concerns
If you are concerned about the country or resort in question then deliver your concerns to the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Include copies of your evidence and ask them to comment. Do the same with your intended travel provider and consider their response. Did they simply refer you to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office advisors or did they provide you with specific responses and reassure your concerns? Once you have this information

Examine your initial scores
Adjust the scores according to the response you have received
If you have concerns, speak with your intended travel insurer and ask them if they will cover you. Provide them with your evidence and if they agree get that confirmation in writing

Safety on holiday
Keep up to date on any changes using these steps every week and in the days before you go on holiday.

Have you discovered anything that gives you concern? How does it affect your score-card of risk? If you are worried, gather your evidence and present it to the UK Foreign Office, your Travel Provider and your insurance provider to ensure your cover continues. Ask them for written comment and confirmation of any issues. If risk is evident and increasing, then go to visit for further guidance on your rights under the Package Travel Regulations.

Take crucial contact numbers
Before you travel, ensure that you have placed the following telephone numbers into your phone:
The European Emergency Services Number 112
If you re outside the EU, then find and enter the number for the local police station to your hotel
The contact numbers for the UK Embassy or Consulate of the Country you intend to visit
The UK Foreign Office telephone number
Make sure that family left behind in the UK have those contact numbers and think about having several methods of contact with family apart from text or email. Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter and all good ways you can keep I touch abroad, keep those routes of contact open.

Remain vigilant once you arrive
Practice the same vigilance the UK Foreign Office claims should be practiced here in the UK. This should include: taking note of your surroundings, in your complex, note escape routes, security routines and the location of the security office.

In an emergency situation
First and foremost in the case of an emergency, follow the instructions of the Authorities.
Leave personal possessions behind, take the exit route you think will deliver you to safety
Where it is safe to do so, use your camera phone to record evidence this could be vital
Maintain yourself at a safe location. Stay away from windows and close curtains if possible. Barricade yourself into your room but respond to instructions or alarms

Keep your lines of communication open
When safe to do so, express to your travel company what you want to do next
Communicate with the UK Foreign Office and or Embassy and explain what has happened to you and where you are.

They can offer you instructions to follow

Above anything else if you see something suspicious
If you see something suspicious report it to the Police and the UK Foreign Office/Embassy at the same time as well as your tour operator.

NEVER challenge an individual on your own and certainly not without the assistance of the local police or security!

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