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A chaotic finish in Waregem

By:
Jeff Jones, with assistance from Sabine Sunderland
Published:
March 23, 2006, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 23:06 BST
Edition:
Latest Cycling News for March 23, 2006

The peloton had to hit the brakes right after crossing the line in Dwars door Vlaanderen yesterday....

The peloton had to hit the brakes right after crossing the line in Dwars door Vlaanderen yesterday. HNB took note of Boonen's remark that he almost ended up in the boot of a car.

But it wasn't only the sprinting peloton that wasn't happy about the incident; the UCI took a dim view of the cars and motorbikes that decided to follow winner Frederik Veuchelen across the finish line. Fines of 200 Swiss francs each were given to Chocolade Jacques sports director Walter Planckaert, Paul De Baeremaeker (driving the neutral Shimano car, and making a similar mistake as in Gent-Wevelgem 2005), neutral motorbike rider Fons Sheys, BWB motorbike driver Benoni Beheydt and the race commissaire motorbike. Also the Belgian TV channel VRT has to pay for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"It's a disgrace," UCI commissaire Gilbert Prinzie was quoted in HNB, claiming he told Planckaert and co. to get out of there when Veuchelen's lead was melting away.

Walter Planckaert reacted surprised afterwards: " I was given permission by the UCI to stay with Veuchelen in the finale. With three kms to go his lead was a minute still. In the last straight line, the peloton came closer but I had nowhere to go. I didn't see the detour for the cars; probably because of the euphoria."

BWB-chairman Laurent De Backer is planning on taking the case in front of the national sports commission on Friday.

"I'm being targeted," Debaeremaeker reacted. "If I'm going to be suspended, I'll get a lawyer."

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