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CARMAUX, France (AFP) – World cycling’s ruling body is set to look into the reasons behind a raft of crashes which have decimated the field during the first nine stages of the Tour de France.
Philippe Chevallier, who is in charge of the road racing department at the UCI, said: “The UCI is going to study the reasons behind the crashes.
“We will look at the different parameters that may have contributed to them, including equipment, the number of riders and the roads used.”
Although crashes are not out of the ordinary in the hectic first week of the Tour this year the toll has been particularly costly.
A number of big names, including Bradley Wiggins, Alexander Vinokourov, Chris Horner and Jurgen van den Broeck, crashed out. On stage 9 alone six riders quit the race due to injuries from crashes.
Some riders complained about roads not being wide enough, while others said the behavior of a nervous peloton — after a week which has yet to eliminate many of the big contenders — was more to blame.
No riders so far have questioned their choice of equipment.
In what appeared to be a barb aimed at organizers, Chevallier said the number of crashes was due to the route chosen: “Having seen the roads used in the race we weren’t particularly shocked.”