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Marlen Reusser disqualified from Gent-Wevelgem for riding on bike path

Marlen Reusser (SD Worx-Protime) was disqualified from Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem after the race officials reviewed footage from the final three kilometres.

Reusser won the 2023 edition of Gent-Wevelgem. This year she finished in the 40-rider peloton behind the winner and teammate Lorena Wiebes but was later relegated and shown as disqualified in the official results. 

The Swiss champion was seen using the cycle path to move up in the peloton with 2.8km to go only to have the path split off from the road, leaving her riding behind a group of spectators. The move backfired and Reusser had to pick her way through the fans and chase back to the peloton.

The UCI banned the use of cycle paths in 2014 to prevent dangerous situations where riders could collide with spectators and to prevent an unfair advantage when riders use a smoother footpath to avoid cobbles.

Rule 2.2.025 states that “It is strictly prohibited to use sidewalks, paths or cycle paths that do not form part of the course as defined in article 2.2.015, separated by kerbs, verges, level changes or other physical features.

“If a dangerous situation is created inter alia for other riders, spectators or race personnel by such action or if such action procures a significant advantage over other riders, the rider will be sanctioned in accordance with article 2.12.007.”

Punishment for breaking the rule can include from a 200 to 500 CHF fine and 15 points deducted from the rider’s UCI ranking for offences during Women’s WorldTour races, but rarely includes disqualification.

In 2017, the rule led to 15 riders being fined 200 CHF for riding on a footpath during the Three Days of De Panne.

Luke Rowe was disqualified in 2018 from the Tour of Flanders after being forced onto a bike path to avoid some road furniture as the race headed into the Oude Kwaremont.

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SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
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