Caleb Ewan had to retire from competition and Geraint Thomas had to join the field after suffering a dislocated shoulder, but Lappartient said it was just a difficult part of the course.
Groupama-FDJ director Marc Madiot claimed that the UCI and other cycling authorities had not taken sufficient measures to reduce the threats posed at the end of the races, and even warned that this could result in deaths.
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Speaking to Ouest France, Lappartient said Madiot was exaggerating.
“He gets carried away all the time. Cycling is cycling, even if I suffer when I see the runners fall. If he still wants the races to reach city centers, we have to admit that it is a little more technical, ”said Lappartient.
He then suggested that the problem was simply because the race ended at the bottom of a descent.
“The roads were good, of a constant width and there were no traffic blocks,” he said.
“It was technical, but there was a nice straight finish line, it’s just that everyone was going fast because Pontivy is at the bottom of a steep valley.
“Above all, the peloton was very nervous, [Primoz] Roglic was a priori alone when he fell, Ewan was alone.
Lappartient went on to say that “the majority of crashes are due to carelessness but I can understand them [the riders], they’re so stressed out all day. And inevitably it’s upset [in the peloton], everyone wants to be up there [at the front], and there is not enough space for everyone. But I don’t think this is to be blamed on the road.
There are rumors of a protest being staged by the remaining riders on the Tour, and the president’s comments are unlikely to be seen as a conciliatory gesture.
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