Sunday 21 January 2018

Video: Riders almost hit by train at level-crossing during Paris-Roubaix facing prosecution

Riders wait to let a high-speed train pass during the Paris-Roubaix
Riders wait to let a high-speed train pass during the Paris-Roubaix

Cycling's world governing body has asked for a report into the incident which saw members of the Paris-Roubaix peloton risk their lives in negotiating a level crossing as a high-speed train approached.

A number of riders rode through the closing barriers, with some crossing only seconds before the train came through during Sunday's race, which was won by John Degenkolb.

The UCI has also asked for a report from the organisers of the Tour of the Basque Country after bollards were left exposed towards the finish of stage one, causing injury to a number of riders involved in a crash.

A statement on read: "Following two extremely worrying incidents that occurred over the past week during the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco and Paris-Roubaix, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) would like to reiterate that safety should at all times be the number one priority of all those involved in a cycling race.

"The UCI is taking both incidents very seriously and has requested that a comprehensive report on each of them be submitted as soon as possible for review and potential action.

"It is everyone's duty to make sure that our beautiful sport of cycling is not tarnished by incidents that appear to have been avoidable."

The SNCF, France's state-owned railway company, has called for those riders who ignored a level crossing barrier during Sunday's Paris-Roubaix, just seconds before a high-speed train flew past, to be prosecuted.

The incident occurred with around 55 miles of the 151-mile cobbled classic remaining, the barrier splitting the peloton in half and clipping a rider from the Belgian Lotto team.

Several riders decided to risk scooting across the tracks even after the barrier had closed. A police outrider managed to keep the rest at bay.

The SNCF released a statement on Monday calling for police action.

"Several riders deliberately crossed a level crossing, which is against all safety regulations," the statement read.

"Millions of TV viewers were able to watch this unauthorised crossing which was extremely serious and irresponsible, that could have ended in tragedy.

"SNCF has decided to lodge a legal complaint and will leave it up to the investigation to determine who was responsible and we regret that such foolhardiness took place."

Watch the incident below:

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