Cyclists temporarily stopped Tour de France as they call for safety measures boost

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After a series of accidents since the Tour de France hit the road, cyclists on Tuesday called for it to temporarily stop as they want organizers to implement tougher safety measures.

Cyclists were seen halting their bikes just one kilometer away into the race’s fourth stage on Tuesday, as captured in a video posted on the Internet.

A report by Reuters said the participants have stopped their ride for a minute of silent objection, as they gathered and went on together, riding slowly while taking another ten kilometers.

On the same day of the protest, the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) broke its silence and asked for negotiations with the International Cycling Union (UCI), as well as the organizers on how to address the problem.

The statement was released following Saturday’s huge accident involving the German Tony Martin. The cyclist crashed into a sign carried by an observer, leading to a series of clashes.

It was followed by two separate accidents involving Geraint Thomas, 2018 champion; and Primoz Roglic, a runner-up from last year.

“Following the crashes during the third stage of the Tour de France, the riders have been discussing how they wish to proceed to show their dissatisfaction with safety measures in place and demand their concerns are taken seriously,” part of CPA’s statement read. “Their frustration about foreseeable and preventable action is enormous.”

“The riders wish to stress their respect for their sponsors, their sports groups, the organizer, their international institution,” it continued. “Supporters are very important to them – and this is why they will be riding today.”

“In return, the riders of the Tour de France ask for the same respect – respect for their safety,” the group furthered.

Included in the demands of the group is an adoption of the three-kilometer rule. The rider, according to the rule, will be provided the time of the group if he or she crashed in the last three kilometers, as reported by NBC Sports.

“Through this course of action, the riders intend to show their understanding to all parties and to open up to a constructive dialogue rather than create difficulties for cycling and the fans,” the group said. “However, riders and CPA are determined to pursue changes for the safety and physical integrity of athletes.” 

“These changes are more necessary than ever,” it concluded.