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Riders angered by unmarked obstacles in Tour de la Provence finale

Several riders were angered by the presence of unmarked obstacles in the chaotic finale at Thursday's stage of the Tour de la Provence.

Multiple pro riders went on social media on Thursday to call out dangerous and unmarked obstacles faced by the peloton during the finale of stage 1 of the Tour de la Provence, which finished in the French beachside community of Six-Fours-les-Plages.

Spanish riders Carlos Barbero and Carlos Vernoa specifically highlighted a pair of unmarked traffic dividers that fell during the final kilometer of the stage as dangerous. Both riders pointed out that the presence of the dangerous traffic dividers comes just days after the UCI made the controversial decision to ban two popular riding positions for 2021.

“We should still start worrying about what really matters. TWO unmarked islands in the last kilometer,” Barbero wrote on Twitter. “It’s bad that we find these things 100 kms from the finish line but in the last kilometer at full throttle it is a trap that surely ends with a fall.”

Verona echoed Barbero’s comment, promoting the comment on his own Twitter account and then adding his two cents.

“The [UCI] and [CPA]. They see more dangerous that we go down according to what positions or that we are a squad of 200 riders … when what really makes our sport dangerous is THIS!” Verona wrote.

Andrey Amador then tweeted his agreement with the perspective.

The hazards are clearly visible in a replay above of the chaotic finale. As the peloton approaches a chicane, riders on the left side of the bunch see the two raised islands and must make a split-second decision. In a show of skill and reaction time, the front riders veer to the left onto the road, and the move splits the peloton into two halves for a split second.

The hazardous finale comes amid a push by the UCI to make cycling safer. Last week the governing body announced plans to create more stringent rules for finish line infrastructure, including the installing of more robust barriers at race finishes.