Danilo Wyss of BMC Racing was caught up in an incident involving a motorbike at La Drôme Classic in France over the weekend which forced the rider to a halt.
The incident happened on the same day as a more serious event involving a motorbike took place at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. In the Belgian race, Stig Broeckx of Lotto-Soudal was knocked down by a motorbike overtaking the bunch.
At La Drôme Classic, the bunch were negotiating a tight right-hand turn near the finish, but as they came around the bend, one of the race motorbikes had come to a standstill in front of them.
This forced a rider from what appeared to be the Delko Marseille Provence KTM team to jam on his brakes. Wyss was directly behind and touched the rider’s back wheel. The Swiss rider was forced to stop and was out of contention.
The incident prompted the General Manager of BMC Racing, Jim Ochowicz, to write an open letter to the UCI. In the letter, Ochowicz says:
“This weekend we saw two serious incidents take place that involved vehicles on the race course taking down riders on live television at La Drôme Classic in France and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne in Belgium. Incredible!”
“The riders deserve far more respect than what they are receiving from those who are responsible for protecting their safety.”
“We all understand that there exists an element of danger in the sport of cycling from a number of places and conditions but no rider expects to be run down from behind by an over-enthusiastic pilot on a closed race course. Disgraceful!”