By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright AFP2003

Kivilev died March 12 from injuries sustained in a crash the day before

Kivilev died March 12 from injuries sustained in a crash the day before

Photo: AFP (file photo)

The Union Cycliste Internationale on Friday confirmed that it will now make helmet use compulsory for professional cyclists following the death last month of Kazakh rider Andrei Kivilev.

The wearing of a helmet had been advised but not compulsory, but there had been increasing calls for a change in the rules following the death of Cofidis rider Kivilev from head injuries sustained in a crash during Paris-Nice.

Cofidis team doctor Jean-Jacques Menuet said that the rider’s injuries would have been reduced if he had been wearing a helmet.

“My medical colleagues in other teams will agree with me on the compulsory wearing of helmets,” said Menuet.

Tour de France director Jean-Marie Leblanc also called for the rules to be changed to make the sport safer.

“The UCI agrees with the resolution adopted by the CPA (riders’ association) direction committee and confirms its willingness to make the wearing of helmets compulsory for professional riders.

“The rules for this initiative (penalties, loss of UCI points) are currently being studied,” the UCI said in a statement.

It is expected that the new rules will be implemented in the coming weeks in time for the start of the Giro d’Italia on May 10.Copyright AFP2003

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