• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Ratcliffe calls for concrete measures on cyclist safety

Sir Jim Ratcliffe=manchester-united_ (2)

INEOS owner Jim Ratcliffe has urged cycling’s governing body to take “real action” to address mounting issues with rider safety.

Ratcliffe, who is also a co-owner of Manchester United, has written to the UCI after a serious crash at last week’s Tour of the Basque Country involving Jonas Vingegaard, Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic.

Vingegaard, the Tour de France champion, suffered broken ribs, a fractured collarbone, and a collapsed lung, while Evenepoel broke his right collarbone and right scapula.

Roglic avoided fractures but has pulled out of the upcoming Ardennes Classics with a knee injury and other bruising.

That crash followed an accident for Belgian Wout van Aert, who fractured his ribs and collarbone in the Around Flanders one-day classic and will miss the Giro d’Italia in May.

Ratcliffe said the shocking incidents highlighted the need for the sport to do more to protect riders.

The British billionaire drew comparisons to Formula One, a sport in which INEOS is an investor with the Mercedes team.

“In Formula One, when Ayrton Senna had his fatal crash 30 years ago in Italy, the governing body set out to transform the safety regulations of one of the world’s most dangerous sports and significantly reduced injuries as a result,” Ratcliffe wrote.

“This contrasts starkly with cycling where, until now, governing bodies have made very few changes and serious accidents are a common occurrence.”

Ratcliffe has had long-standing concerns about safety in cycling.

His INEOS team has suffered from serious incidents, with both Chris Froome and Egan Bernal sustaining career-threatening injuries in training in recent years.

Last June, the UCI announced the launch of SafeR, a new body dedicated to the issue of rider safety.

“I applaud the UCI for taking the issues on board and agreeing to support the establishment of SafeR,” Ratcliffe said.

“We now need to see real action to ensure the safety of the sport.”