The UCI defends the Roubaix race jury after the Roubaix train incident, but says it may look at it a
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The International Cycling Union is considering whether the Paris-Roubaix race jury’s decision to disqualify three riders for going through a closed level crossing should be reviewed or not. UCI president Pat McQuaid has indicated that he would not be in favour of the decision being reviewed, and this stance has been backed up by UCI ProTour manager Alain Rumpf, who has told L’Equipe “the commissaires’ decision can’t be appealed. Just like in football when a referee blows for a penalty, you can’t then change that penalty decision. However, the rules do allow the possibility of re-examining the decision when a new element appears in the case.”
That new element may well be a picture that has appeared in the press showing Juan Antonio Flecha, Alessandro Ballan and Tom Boonen going through the crossing with the lights still on red. None of this trio of riders were disqualified, although the train had gone through the crossing by this point. However, as signs at every rail crossing in France point out ‘one train can hide another’.
Meanwhile, UCI ProTour president Vittorio Adorni has responded to criticisms of the commissaires by race organiser Jean-Marie Leblanc. “The organiser should have managed the situation better,” Adorni told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I don’t agree with Jean-Marie Leblanc, who criticised the jury – they simply applied the rules.”
Adorni added: “Episodes like this shouldn’t happen at the finale of a race like Paris-Roubaix. The race organisation have slipped up.” Adorni said a decision would be made on the incident once the Roubaix race jury’s report had been received by the UCI.
– It’s only April but it’s still not too early for Quick Step to start announcing the first of their signings for next season. The rider in question is 19-year-old Belgian Kevin Seeldrayers, currently riding with the Quick Step satellite team Beveren 2000, who has signed a deal for the next two seasons.
– Crdit Agricole’s Laszlo Bodrogi is set to do his first tests in his preparation for an attempt on the world hour record later this year. The Hungarian is due to go to Bordeaux Velodrome for the first time next Thursday to test some of his equipment and do some test rides under the auspices of French team doctor, Dr Labb.