Cyclists stop at level crossing in Paris-Roubaix.
Off Track

No penalties for riders as level crossing causes Paris-Roubaix chaos

Paris-Roubaix organisers did not disqualify riders who rode under level-crossing boom gates on Sunday as they could not identify them all.

NO RIDERS WERE disqualified for riding around barriers at a level crossing during Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, with race officials claiming they did not have time to stop.

While the likes of Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Arnaud Demare (FDJ) were identified by various media outlets, it seems the sheer number of riders who crossed, both as the boom gates lowered and once they were in place, forced the race commissaires to effectively ignore the offence.

In 2006, three cyclists were disqualified at Paris-Roubaix for a similar transgression.

The incident occurred outside the north-eastern French town of Wallers – midway through the one-day classic – with the boom gates dropping as the peloton crossed a railway line.

A large number streamed across as the barriers came down, seemingly unable to stop, while others scooted across the tracks before a high-speed TGV train came past.

But no-one was disqualified, as the group that made it across were told to slow down and allow approximately 20 riders that were stranded to catch up.

“The peloton was 10 metres away when the barriers started to close,” the commissaires announced in a statement after the race, according to Cyclingnews.

“It wasn’t possible for the riders in front to stop in a sufficiently safe manner. The second part of the peloton was stopped.

“As a consequence, the commissaires together with the race organisation neutralised the first part of the peloton to facilitate a regrouping with the second part of the peloton and to get back to the situation from before the level crossing.

“This decision was relayed over race radio.”

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