Rider’s safety should take same priority as anti-doping says Marcel Kittel

Its a weekend the cycling community want to forget after Antoine Demoitie and Daan Myngheer died whilst racing their bike.

Rider’s safety should take same priority as anti-doping says Marcel Kittel
Marcel Kittel has urged the UCI to act over Demoitie's death / PezCyclingNews

It’s been a tragic weekend for cycling as two riders lost their lives ; Antoine Demoitie lost his live after a crash involving a motorbike at Ghent-Wevelgem and at the Criterium International, Daan Myngheer died after sustaining a heart attack.

Speaking of the death of Demoitie Etixx-Quickstep’s, Marcel Kittel urged the UCI to do more in regards to rider’s safety.

Over the past year there have been more incidents involving motorbikes at Grand Tours and other races; but this was far more serious as the rider from Wanty-Groupe Gobert lost his life through reckless driving.

Rider’s safety ‘should get the same attention’ as doping

Tributes have flooded in over the weekend, as the cycling community remembers Demoitie and Myngheer, but in Kittel’s Facebook post he said: "But the safety issues that are obvious should get the same attention and priority as the fight for clean sport.”

Cycling has never been far from the public eye, in the 1990’s and early 2000’s the sport was ravished by drugs scandals that are still affecting the sport today. But in recent years the quality of care for riders has come into question more often.

Kittel feels the responsibility is the UCI’s, "it's necessary to set higher and better standards for professional bike races,” and he also urged his fellow cyclists to talk ‘openly’ about the issue.

The UCI needs to now stand up and take a stand, just like they did to try and combat the threat of doping; better organisation, and also more experienced motorbike drivers are needed to help try and eradicate tragic deaths like Demoitie’s.

Demoitie tragically lost his live at Ghent-Wevelgem last Sunday / The Telegraph
Demoitie tragically lost his live at Ghent-Wevelgem last Sunday / The Telegraph

3 Days of Panne start tomorrow, in which Kittel will be present, and in his post on the social media Kittel said: “We will mourn the loss of Antoine and pay respect to him, his family and team after this horrible accident.”

The sport will now have to wait to see what the governing body does in regard to the accident at Ghent-Wevelgem, but Kittel insisted that the cycling community, “owe it to Antoine that we do everything to let that never happen again."