the safety of the runners and the safety of the event at the center of concerns

Two weeks after his accidental death during the Tour de Suisse, Gino Mäder is still on everyone’s mind. A fortiori with the approach of the 2023 Tour de France, whose big start is given in Bilbao (Spain), Saturday 1um July. During the traditional presentation of the teams on Thursday 29 June, his team (Bahrain-Victorious) and spectators observed a minute of silence in memory of the 26-year-old Swiss rider, whose face was projected onto a screen installed at the foot of the Guggenheim Museum .

Read also: The cyclist Gino Mäder, victim of a heavy fall at the Tour de Suisse, has died

On June 15, in the last descent of the 5And stage of the Swiss loop, after having climbed the Albula pass, Gino Mäder and Magnus Sheffield, then launched at high speed, had gone off the road and found themselves in a ravine. If the Ineos-Grenadiers American escaped with bruises and a concussion, the Swiss died the next day of his injuries.

“This tragedy has affected all ridersrecalled the Frenchman David Gaudu (4And of the 2022 Tour de France), during his appearance before international media on Thursday. The following days I was at a mountain training course. When I was going down, I necessarily thought about it. » Gino Mäder’s death brought to light a well-known problem in the group: security.

Several days before the big start, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) had announced the holding of a press conference to communicate “an important development for safety in professional road cycling”.

On Friday June 30, at the Bilbao Exhibition Center, the body finally made no surprising revelations. He presented the creation of an independent entity called “SafeR”, whose objective is to analyze the risks and present recommendations to the UCI and the organisers. Its contours are still blurred.

“We are still discussing what the legal status of the institution will be”admitted David Lappartient, president of the International Cycling Union. This should see the light on day 1um January 2024 and will not be fully operational until 2025. Its financing has also not yet been defined precisely, although “Every family of cyclists will have to make their own contribution”.

It’s not about distorting the sport.”

The UCI meeting had been planned for a long time, said Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme. However, all eyes quickly turned to the course of the circuit, following the death of Gino Mäder. It is no coincidence that several arrivals take place after a long descent, such as the one in which the Swiss cyclist went off the road: that of 14And stage, between Annemasse and Morzine-Les Portes du Soleil, in Haute-Savoie, on 15 July; then that of the 17thAnd stage, between Saint-Gervais-Mont-Blanc (Haute Savoie) and Courchevel (Savoy), on 19 July.

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