The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the Association Internationale des Organisateurs de Courses Cyclistes (AIOCC), the Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels (AIGCP), UNIO – the association of women’s cycling teams -, the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) and the Women’s CPA today announced, at a press conference organised at the Grand Départ of the Tour de France, in Bilbao (Spain), the creation of SafeR (for SafeRoadcycling). This independent entity is dedicated to improving the safety of men’s and women’s competitions on the UCI International Road Calendar, which is a major concern in modern cycling for the UCI and all the stakeholders of our sport.
The creation of SafeR is a direct response to the trend of increasing incidents occurring in men’s and women’s professional road cycling. This trend prompted extensive discussions among the professional road cycling stakeholders, leading to a unanimous agreement on the need for a more structured and systematic approach to ensuring safety. Collaboration was deemed essential to achieve this and enable all stakeholders to actively contribute to improving the current situation.
SafeR will be funded jointly by the organisers, riders, teams and the UCI. The entity will be responsible for:
- analysing the risks relating to the routes of UCI WorldTour, UCI Women’s World and UCI ProSeries races;
- providing safety advice to stakeholders in professional road cycling, in particular to the UCI;
- carrying out safety audits on race organisers and teams (including their riders);
- publishing quarterly safety reports.
SafeR will be able to draw on the many measures to improve rider safety that the UCI put in place in 2021 in collaboration with stakeholders, in particular event organisers. To this end, the UCI issued a document – published on its website – entitled “Rider Safety – New Regulations in 2021 – Explanation Guide for Organisers, Teams and Riders”.
Additionally, SafeR will have access to a race incidents database established by the UCI in partnership with Ghent University (Belgium) in 2021. This database provides a valuable source of factual information regarding incidents, allowing for a deeper understanding over time and paving the way for the development of improved strategies to enhance the safety of the sport.
UCI President David Lappartient said: “The safety of riders, as well as people in the race convoy and on the roadside, is a priority for the UCI. Despite the measures put in place since the tightening of the UCI’s safety rules in 2021, we have to acknowledge that the number of incidents and injuries continue to rise. Several factors have contributed to this unfortunate trend, including the rapid expansion of road furniture designed to control vehicle speeds, particularly in urban areas, as well as the increased speed of today’s peloton. The UCI and all the cycling families must unite to reverse this trend and this common desire to find solutions together is embodied in the creation of SafeR.”
CPA President Adam Hansen said: “Before running for the presidency of the CPA, I asked the riders what their main concern was. It was safety. I’m very happy to be contributing to the SafeR initiative with all the stakeholders in road cycling. We all listen to each other, and the presence of the CPA will enable me to ensure that the riders’ requests are heard, taken into account and dealt with. I want riders to be as safe as possible at competitions. Together, we’re moving in the right direction. »
CPA Women’s General Manager Alessandra Cappellotto said: “All stakeholders in the cycling family have come together at the same table to talk about how we can improve safety in road racing, and that’s amazing. We have a lot of work ahead of us because there is still a lot of room for improvement, but I am resolutely optimistic that we can achieve excellent results when it comes to ensuring the safety of riders. I’m looking forward to working on this with the various stakeholders in road cycling.”
AIOCC President Christian Prudhomme said: “The birth of SafeR shows that all the cycling families want to work together to improve safety, and this is vital. Unlike other sports, we don’t own the roads where our champions express themselves, and that can be a real challenge in terms of safety. What I see as great about this new entity is that it will enable us to raise the level of safety in competitions on the UCI International Calendar, to ensure that what is done well by some can be done well by all the others, in as many races as possible. There is often a great disparity between races of different sizes. But safety must be guaranteed in all cases, for all those involved in our sport.”
AIGCP President Richard Plugge said: “We can all be proud to launch SafeR today. This is an important moment for our sport and, I hope, a major step forward for the safety of those involved. We all agree that safety is an absolute priority. SafeR allows all the stakeholders in cycling to come together, assume their responsibilities and make real progress on safety. If we all give our best and make a real commitment together, we can really make a difference.”
UNIO President Stephen Delcourt said: “It was important for us to give our opinion on the SafeR project. So far, the exchanges and conversations have been extremely fruitful and full of trust. I am convinced that the combined efforts of all the stakeholders, and the solid exchange of all our knowledge and experience, will enable us to contribute effectively to this initiative.”