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newsid: 160931

UCI Eco-cyclo patrol joins Gran Fondo Eddy Merckx

Eddy Merckx with the UCI Eco-cyclo Patrol
Eddy Merckx with the UCI Eco-cyclo Patrol

The UCI Eco-cyclo patrol is increasingly well-known amidst the amateur peloton, and on Sunday members made their presence felt at the Gran Fondo Eddy Merckx in Belgium.

Five harlequin-clad figures spread the environmental word among the 900 riders who tackled an exacting 152km course in a bid to qualify for the world final of the UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT). Another two members of the Eco-cyclo patrol encouraged green practices amongst riders in a shorter 76km race.

It is the second consecutive year that the patrol, affectionately known as the “Green Gang”, has worked at the massively popular race named after cycling legend Eddy Merckx. And Eco-cyclo patrol founder Patrick François noticed the increased awareness both from the organisers and the riders.

“First of all, we are there to talk to the riders and encourage environmentally responsible behaviour when it comes to getting rid of rubbish,” explains François. “But we also expect the organisers to do their part, for example by separating out rubbish, providing a sufficient number of bins, using biodegradable products at feed stations and abandoning the distribution of plastic water bottles and goblets. The organisers in Belgium were very committed on all these points, and they also gave us a lot of publicity at the start.”

The UCI Eco-cyclo patrol, which includes around 80 volunteers, was also present at two other events last weekend: the Ardéchoise in France (15,000 participants) and the Quebrantahuesos in Spain (12,000 participants).

With members at three different events in three different countries uniting a total of 30,000 cyclists, the Green Gang continued to campaign for a clean and responsible image of cycling.

All in a weekend’s work…

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