Cycling News

Patrick Lefevere on his rider being hit by spectator: ‘That’s unacceptable’

Patrick Lefevere called a ‘crisis meeting’ after his Soudal Quick-Step riders performances so far

Patrick Lefevere is rightfully annoyed by what happened with his rider Jan Hirt yesterday.

For Jan Hirt, the Tour de France started on a sour note. After signing the start sheet, the Czech rider was hit by a careless spectator on his way back to the team bus. He broke several teeth and banged up his face as he went over the bars.

“That’s unacceptable,” Soudal – Quick Step boss Patrick Lefevere told Sporza about the incident. Lefevere was in Slovakia on Saturday but made his way to Italy for the second stage of the Tour.

“The teams have to pay for everything and follow a thousand rules. Why don’t they make a passage from the stage? Look at who’s walking around here,” he said. “Yesterday, it was apparently much worse. A stupid fan with a backpack grabbed Jan’s handlebars. What a way to start the Tour, eh? He put in weeks of effort in training.”

Hirts wasn’t even supposed to be in this Tour, and was a last-minute addition.

“And then some fool runs him over,” he said.As far as any response from the organizer, ASO? Not a word, he said. He did post about the incident on X, and presumes it had been seen, given his following. The Belgian later deleted the post.

“We haven’t received any apologies. Yesterday, I arranged for a specialist dentist who repaired Jan’s three broken teeth in an hour and a half,” Lefevere said.

Hirt said it was a tough way to start a Grand Tour “I’ve had a hard day with a lot of pain. I couldn’t eat during the ride and I was completely drained at the finish,” he said.”Now I feel better than yesterday. I’m not 100 per cent, but it’s better. What happened? Suddenly, I was on the ground; it all happened so fast.”

The organization at the start was poorly managed, he added but said that today it’s much better. “It’s a shame something had to happen before they made change,” he said. “The team did a great job arranging for me to see a dentist on Saturday evening, which isn’t easy in Italy. Today, I just hope to survive again.”

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…