Jacky Durand likes the new yellow card system, but doesn't have high expectations: "Even with these new provisions, there will always be falls"

The UCI presented this Wednesday brand new provisions to improve the safety of road riders which will come into force from August 1 for a test phase. Among them, the introduction of yellow cards during races to sanction dangerous behavior and try to curb the epidemic of collective falls. For 'collecting' too many yellow cards, riders can look forwards to varying range of punishments from DQs to month-long suspensions.

"It’s a good idea," rejoiced Eurosport consultant Jacky Durand. "It could prevent certain riders from being knocked out of the race at the first mistake." Thus, a rider like Nicolo Parisini, removed from the race after first stage of the Boucles de la Mayenne after having involuntarily caused a collective fall during the sprint, could then have received only a simple warning.

Twenty-one racing incidents, which could concern riders as much as team directors or motorcycle journalists, have been identified as potentially worth a yellow card. And the sanctions will fall quickly: the second warning during the same stage or one-day race will be synonymous with exclusion, and seven days of suspension. "There will be a little shock for each rider when they learn that they have a yellow card," predicted Jacky Durand. "But there is no miracle solution for safety."

"It will always be the same riders who will be targeted. Over a three-week race, a sprinter could quickly have two yellow cards. But even with these new provisions, there will always be falls," Durand reminds.

Riders and other participants will not be notified directly of the warning, but only in the race report. "These yellow cards will not physically exist," specifies the UCI press release. We will therefore have to wait a little longer to see a man in black on a motorbike waving a yellow card at Tim Merlier and Jasper Philipsen after an intermediate sprint. And it's almost a shame.

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