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Cycling-Riders delay start in Andalusia over safety concerns

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(Reuters) -Riders in the Vuelta an Andalucia delayed the start of Friday’s 183km fourth stage from Baza to Cullar Vega in protest at race organizers Deporinter over issues including safety. In a statement released by the Professional Cyclists’ Association (CPA), road conditions, rider safety, welfare, and stage transfers were cited as sub-standard.

Cycling

“The riders will delay the start of today’s stage by a few minutes to protest against the lack of attention that has been given to their safety requests at the race,” the statement read. “The riders protest against the choice of routes, gravel descents, and large potholes, which in yesterday’s (Thursday’s) stage put their safety and well-being in grave danger.

“This symbolic protest is intended to attract the attention of the organizers and the UCI (world cycling’s governing body) to this important issue.” Reuters has contacted Deporinter and the UCI for comment. Movistar’s Colombian rider Miguel Angel Lopez leads the general classification after the opening three stages of the race, 20 seconds ahead of Antwan Tolhoek of Jumbo-Visma in second place. The race finishes on Saturday, with the fifth and final 107km stage departing Vera before ending at Palpi after two third-category climbs. (Reporting by Joseph WalkerEditing by Toby Davis)

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