Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) issued an apology for throwing a rival competitor's bike after a crash during the Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne on Thursday. The Italian rider picked up the bike belonging to Bigla's Lizzy Banks and threw it to the side of the road in what she said was "the heat of the moment".
"Sorry for the bike throw today," Longo Borghini said in a statement on Twitter. "It was done in the heat of the moment and I was very frustrated because the bikes would not untangle. It was unacceptable and I am truly sorry. My apologies to @biglateam, I would never intentionally cause damage to someone else or their property."
Longo Borghini and Banks crashed roughly 35km from the finish line of the women's 134.4km race between Bruges and De Panne. A replay showed that Banks ended up off the course briefly and she went straight over the handlebars. Her flying bike hit Longo Borghini and took the Italian out, and both bikes were tangled up.
Video footage also showed Longo Borghini trying to untangle the two bikes. Once the bikes were separated she picked up Banks' Bigla-issued Chapter2 and threw it in the air and it landed on the concrete at the side of the road.
The video footage showed Banks laying on the roadside, a few feet away from where the two bikes were entangled. She wasn't able to quickly remount because Longo Borghini had thrown the bike in the opposite direction to where Banks was located.
Banks remounted on a spare bike but did not finish the race. She later acknowledge the incident in a post on Twitter.
"At least throw the bike in my direction eh?! Got back up and on to my spare bike but unfortunately I was down too long and so wasn't able to rejoin the bunch to help my @BiglaTeam in the finish."