Tour de Yorkshire: Astana sports director suspended after near miss

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A support vehicle crashed through a traffic island during the final stage of the race.

The driver of the Astana team car that almost hit a volunteer and crashed through a traffic island during the Tour de Yorkshire has been suspended for 50 days.

Sports director Lars Michaelsen accepted responsibility and was also fined 5,000 Swiss Francs (£3,718) by the UCI, cycling's world governing body.

Astana apologised to race marshal Philip Sullivan, who was "shaken but unhurt" after the incident during the final stage in Leeds on 6 May.

Danish former rider Michaelsen, 49, will also help the UCI deliver driver safety initiatives and "share his experience as a driver in the race convoy", it said in a statement.

"The UCI emphasises the importance of continuously working on measures aimed at improving road safety as well as acting on any such incidents from a disciplinary point of view in a fair and efficient manner," it added.

Speaking after the incident, Mr Sullivan said he did not want it to "tarnish the the Tour de Yorkshire" and during his conversation with Michaelsen said that he would volunteer at next year's race, where the two will "meet for a beer".

He was one of hundreds of volunteer marshals working on the race and was standing on the traffic island in a hi-vis jacket, waving a flag to direct cyclists, their team cars and official race motorbikes, away from the hazard.

The Astana car came round a right-hand bend in the centre of the road and was unable to avoid the traffic island, with Mr Sullivan jumping clear at the last moment.

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