Road

UCI fines, bans DS who nearly struck marshal

The UCI fined and banned an Astana sport director who nearly struck a race marshal during last month’s Tour of Yorkshire.

The UCI fined and banned an Astana sport director who nearly struck a race marshal during last month’s Tour of Yorkshire.

A video captured the near-miss in shocking detail as a volunteer race marshal jumped out of harm’s way at the last moment.

On Friday, the UCI sent a strong message to everyone driving inside the race caravan to be more careful.

The Astana driver — identified as former pro Lars Michaelsen — will serve a 50-day ban and pay a 5,000CHF fine (about $5,100).

“The UCI emphasizes the importance of continuously working on measures aimed at improving road safety as well as acting on any such incidents from a disciplinary point of view in a fair and efficient manner,” the statement said.

A roadside fan captured the mishap on their smartphone and the images soon went viral. A race marshal was standing on a traffic island and was waving a yellow warning flag to alert a breakaway coming out of a right-hander.

The Astana team comes swooping out of the corner and has no time to brake or steer clear. The car smashes into a traffic sign and the concrete traffic divider. The marshal escapes serious injury by jumping to his right.

Astana issued an apology immediately after the incident and on Friday, the UCI stated that Michaelsen “accepted his responsibility for the incident and actively collaborated with the investigation.” The UCI statement also said Michaelsen will “collaborate with the UCI in delivering driver safety initiatives and share his experience as a driver in the race convoy.”