Race director Rob Discart contradicts that the BinckBank Tour route is unsafe. Several riders criticized the organization on Wednesday after the third stage of the WorldTour race.
Shortly after the finish of the third stage in Aalter, where the mass sprint won by Sam Bennett was marred by a fall in a right-hand turn in the final kilometer, there was a big discussion about safety on Twitter.
"This is the hypocrisy of the cycling world," wrote the Belgian Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider Tim Declercq. "First we hold a very emotional minute of silence for Bjorg Lambrecht and five minutes later we try to break each other again on a course with the width of a cycle path and a million turns."
The German Marcel Sieberg (Lotto Soudal) agreed with his colleague. "Every race must become crazier and more dangerous. That is really terrible and I think it must change quickly. Please ensure more safety for us riders."
Paul Martens stated that it gets worse every year. "We should feel personally offended by cyclists like this for three days in a row," tweeted the German from Jumbo-Visma.
I guess most of the riders will agree with me that today laps in stage 3 or @BinckBankTour weren't exactly in favor of our security, which results in unnecessary stress / crashes. The question is, do we really have to wait until an incident happens before we change something?Avatar
'Got the green light without a problem'
Race director Discart reacted to the Belgian media on the criticism by saying that all courses were approved by the international cycling union UCI and that it had been known for some time that the race would be over narrow roads this week.
"It should not be forgotten that when we announced the different routes at the time, we indicated that this is a 'Flandrien route'," said Discart. "That means that you are confronted with narrow roads, turning and turning. Followed by wider roads. That is also the case in the Tour of Flanders, Ghent-Wevelgem, E3 Harelbeke ..."
The race director understands the criticism of the riders. "But we think our rides, and therefore also those in Aalter, are safe. The UCI gave us the green light for our race without any problem. Only for the individual time trial of next Saturday we had to move a little. The rest turned out to be in tiptop order. "
The BinckBank Tour, which lasts until Sunday, continues on Thursday with a hilly ride through the Walloon Ardennes. The fourth stage starts at 2 p.m. in Houffalize and finishes 96.2 kilometers later in the same place.
. @UCI_cycling feel free to downgrade @BinckBankTour to the level of kirmes. We speak about safety and they make a race like this .... @cpacyclingAvatar