• Stephen J Schilling

    Broeckx was side-swiped, NOT hit from behind. This is a very disingenuous way of deflecting blame from rider inattention. I’m not saying the moto driver couldn’t have done better, but he certainly did not run up the back of Broeckx.

    • WarwickBoy

      It is not the riders’ responsibility to avoid vehicles in the race convoy. It is the convoy vehicle drivers’ job to avoid them.

      • Stephen J Schilling

        Very well. Who would hold the blame if instead of a moto, it was another rider attacking from the back of the group?

        • WarwickBoy

          It would depend on the situation. The riders are supposed to be focusing on the race and their competitors.

          Lead out men pull that kind of swing off move all the time in the last 3-4 km and how often do you see it lead to a crash like this one with the moto. Riders know what the other riders will do and expect to have to look out for it. They are not expecting to have a moto racing up behind them at twice their speed. The cars and motos are supposed to look out for the riders and make their moves around them without compromising the race.

          • Stephen J Schilling

            Using your own argument, the moto was passing the group well clear of it to allow for any “expected” fluctuation in a-at the time he started to pass-empty lane during a situation where there was no reason to expect a rider to come peeling out of the group unannounced (without hand up) like that.

            When the gruppetto is in the final few k’s the bikes, I would assume, aren’t allowed to pass. So, yes, you are right. It doesn’t happen in the sprint.

            But Broeckx wasn’t just “drifting” out of the line, he was driving. The moto did react to his incursion at the last instant. And I think the motos should be obligated to use their horns when they are passing. And there are certainly numerous incidents where moto drivers have put themselves in bad spots at bad times which have probably colored many views of this incident. But this incident is also very different from teh one that took out Sagan last year. Sagan had established a line outside the main paceline and was hit by an overtaking moto who passed too closely. Broeckx, however, quite frankly, came out of the regard with no concern for ANYONE (fellow riders included) and shot across the “assumed” open lane.

            I can say and will stand behind that if it were another rider passing/attacking the group abd Broeckx came out like that, he would shoulder FULL blame for it.

            Finally, let me also ask you, if it were a rider from a Conti squad and not a WT team, would you be more willing to entertain the idea that the rider was partly at fault due to “inexperience?”

            • donncha

              It’s a race on closed roads, and the riders have right of way over the whole road, period. All other vehicles are required to stay out of their way, and only pass when it’s safe to do so. That moto rider passed too close and too fast, and didn’t alert the peloton to his presence. AND he didn’t stop.

              Also, if you rematch the video, it’s pretty clear that Broeckx is drifting right, while looking left, well before the moto notices and tries to take evasive action. If that moto rider was paying attention, and driving defensively, he would have hit the brakes well before he did react. In fact, it doesn’t look like he hit the brakes at all (don’t see the rear light going on)

              • Stephen J Schilling

                I believe the moto started his move to pass when it WAS safe to do so. And I’ve already conceded that speed and not using his his horn were contributing factors. I also agree, if there is any punishment, it should be for not stopping. (Conversely, I don’t suspect you’ve ever driven a moto if you think he should have braked in that situation.) But he wasn’t that close to the peloton.

                And since we’re going to go into the rulebook for this, Lotto should have had riders tossed from the race for deviating onto the bikepath beside one of the cobbled sections…specifically against the rules.

                • david__g

                  Why so defensive about the motorcycle rider? Inattentive and careless riding. Needs the book thrown at him and not allowed to ride in races again.

                  As for going “into the rulebook”, uh, a rider was injured pretty badly. What do rules about going on to the bikepath have to do with it? Are you even a cyclist or…I dunno, I can’t work out your angle here.

            • Dave

              Schilling by name, shill by nature.

              If it were another rider passing, the closing speed would have been in the order of 5-10 km/h, not 30-50km/h, with a correspondingly longer time for reaction and evasive action.

              Have you ever ridden a bike in a group?

            • ROBObot

              What in the Wide World of Sports are you talking about????

              • Dave

                I think he’s saying that if a cyclist blunders their way onto a MotoGP track and gets cleaned up by Valentino Rossi, it’s the cyclist’s fault.

                That in itself is debatable (MotoGP races have marshals to maintain track safety, and security fencing to prevent incursions) but it’s irrelevant – it’s certainly nothing to do with a cycling race.

            • Matt DeMaere

              Mate seriously… its really simple, please don’t waste oxygen. I’m not going to even read all of that.

              In a race, vehicles avoid and defer to the athletes.

              It is a complex rolling environment, so there is a little give and take here at there, sure. Bikes overtake the peloton for various reasons, but do so safely. This overtake was too fast for the capability of the driver of the bike.

    • Shane Stokes

      Not sure how you can say that. Look at the video above; it’s pretty clear. The only reason the moto hit his side rather than hitting him from behind is because the moto tried to swing right.

      • Shane Stokes

        ps don’t want to appear to be taking sides: would like the UCI to study this and any other recent incidents and determine the best possible way to avoid future accidents.

        • Ben Greeve

          I wish we had a full speed video with original audio, would clear up a whole lot of issues. A few seconds on the end as well confirming that the moto didn’t stop wouldn’t be bad either.

          • Mad Marsupial

            Without the normal speed video we are all guessing.

        • Dave

          … would like the UCI to …

          Perhaps you should perform your journalistic duty and ask the UCI a few questions about their actions on rider safety?

          Can they show demonstrable progress on the issue of rider safety over the last two years since it became such a prominent issue? If not, why not?

          Is there a training and licensing system in place for race convoy car/moto drivers before entry into any elite-level UCI event is allowed? If not, why not?

          Are there systems are in place for sanctioning car/moto drivers who cause incidents? If not, why not?

          Do organisations with cars/motos in the race convoy have to lodge a deposit to cover the losses of teams affected by their actions? If not, why not?

          • Shane Stokes

            Dave, we are already ‘doing our journalistic duty’ in this regard. We’ve sought comment from the UCI in this matter and in relation to other safety incidents.

        • touristeroutier

          While I agree there needs to be caution exercised, Broeckx didn’t appear to even look to the right. He swung off over 2 meters, but if there was another rider attacking up that side, and they collided, we would be blaming Broeckx for the crash.

      • Stephen J Schilling

        I think we’re on the same page in essence. Especially on the horn issue. In one of my followups above I stated the same. And I certainly don’t want my next statement to sound like I’m piling on or targeting Stig, but he was in the first group of riders after ‘the split’ at Paris-Roubaix last year…if you catch my drift.

        My whole point, or intent, was to convey that while there are numerous instances of moto or auto driver negligence (the Le Drome incident is one) I don’t think this one is exclusively in that category. And more importantly, instead of throwing the book at guys, this is another area where the UCI needs to step in and spell out a specific set of criteria to be followed. From what we can see in the video, I feel comfortable in saying the driver made a good decision to overtake when and where he did. Flat, straight, non-cobbled, no apparent crosswind, 2 lanes. It was after that that the driver got (may have, but less debatable) things wrong and Stig got (may have, more so debatable) things wrong as well.

        • Fred

          Also worth noting that the moto would have been given permission to move up from the commissair. I.E. the UCI representative at the race in charge of controlling traffic decided it was a safe time for vehicles to move about. When this happened the race was lined out.

      • Larry @CycleItalia

        “You have to choose your moment really carefully. ” Exactly. And this is a vehicle with superior brakes and power, so waiting for the right moment is much easier than on a bicycle. Even if the doctor on the back of the moto was needed to save a life at the finish line, that in no way excuses the driver of the moto blasting past. These drivers must be made to understand that Rule #1 is NEVER hit the riders! Crash your car or moto if that’s the only way you can avoid hitting a a rider, but NEVER hit the rider. Violate Rule #1 for any reason and you NEVER drive a vehicle anywhere near a race caravan again. It’s a bicycle race, the vehicle drivers need to get over the false sense of urgency – they are NOT supposed to be racing, they’re supposed to be making things safer or at least (photogs, etc.) staying the hell out of the way. I can’t tell you how many times at races I’ve seen car and moto drivers zooming along the course like they’re in some sort of road race or rally, it’s amazing that there are not more collisions and injuries with some of these cowboys behind the wheel or handlebars.

  • winkybiker

    Moto was 100% at fault. No other interpretation is possible. The moto has absolute responsibility to not run down riders. There are way too many motorised vehicles accompanying these races for there not to be regular incidents, however.

    • Dave


      Life ban for the K-B-K maniac is the only answer there.

      The one at La Drome Classic is still pretty bad, he/she got in the way and contributed to a crash which could have been worse if it were not for a generous helping of luck. That should be a minimum of a one year ban, with the UCI allowing re-entry only upon demonstrating an appropriate amount of re-training and completing a number of domestic-level races without incident.

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  • Il_falcone

    What about Wiss’ crash during La Drome Classic. I agree that the moto should not be so close to the riders in that turn. But I can’t see how that affected Danilo’s ride. I can’t see why he stumbles – he not really crashes – but it seems that maybe he miss-shifted, his chain broke or he slipped out of one pedal. He doesn’t even touch anyone’s wheel or bike. It looks to me as if his problem is not caused by anyone else including the moto which is already long gone by then.

    • Dave

      It looks to me like the moto is a contributing factor due to the way it affected the bunch’s progress around the corner and leaves Wyss hung out to dry on the uneven surface to the outside of the hairpin.

      It’s a fairly minor incident, but it’s only luck and the skill of the cyclists that prevented it being a much more serious pileup involving many riders and serious injuries. When all the evidence suggests the UCI doesn’t give a shying flit about rider safety and isn’t interesting in taking on a leadership role, the teams need to use every opportunity

      There’s no excuse for the moto getting in the way on a corner like that. The disadvantage in manoeuvrability is well known, as is the ability to remedy this by pulling away on the straights (unless Femke is racing) to get to the corner with enough time before the cyclists approach, or the ability to pull off to the outside mid-corner instead of getting jammed up blocking the racing line.

  • Mike Blaszczak

    In the Broeckx incident, the motorcycle brake light never comes on. The driver never hit the brake.

  • Berne Shaw

    Rules are obviously needed to fix this mates. Just read the good comments here. The reason for rules is to have everyone know what each other’s responsibilities are and are not. Rules for motors and for racers. Mottos must have speed space position and number of motors otherwise there will be lethal incidents soon. Riders must know there are certain things they cannot do as well. The whole TGV incident comes to mind. Right now the UCI is the governing body and they have neglected to draft a universal set of rules for all race organizers. This includes dealing with road furniture dangerous sprints preposterous descents unsafe sprints. Cmon lets get with it and push UCI to deal with this before we have some brain damaged or dead riders.


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