Lotto Soudal files complaint in Broeckx motorcycle incident

Belgian federation to question driver

Lotto Soudal says it has filed a complaint over the horrific crash between a race motorcycle and Stig Broeckx in the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, while the Belgian Cycling Federation (Koninklijke Belgische Wielrijdersbond (KBWB) - Royale Ligue Vélocipédique Belge (RLVB) issued a statement on Monday saying it "regrets the accident", and promises to have the organisation's disciplinary commission question the motorcycle driver involved.

Broeckx had just pulled off from the front of the peloton in the closing kilometers of the race on Sunday when the race medical motorcycle came speeding past and clipped him, sending him crashing to the ground. He had surgery today to fix his fractured collarbone but will miss the rest of the Spring Classics.

"The team loses an important rider who was part of the Classics core and who did a great job on Saturday and Sunday," the team wrote. "Lotto Soudal hopes that after the succession of events the past few months and because of what happened yesterday during Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne the theme ‘safety’ won’t only be further discussed between organisations, teams and their interest groups, federations and the international cycling union, but that soon also concrete measures will be taken to increase the safety of the riders."

BMC manager Jim Ochowicz also issued a statement after his rider Danilo Wyss crashed when a TV motorcycle chose an inopportune moment to pause in the exit from a late 180-degree bend, resulting in a chain reaction incident that delayed Wyss. Other riders have been injured in a series of crashes and dangerous finishes in recent races in Spain, Portugal and the south of France, sparking angry social media posts by several riders and calls for action. 

After at least half a dozen incidents between riders and motorcycles in the past year, Ochowicz questioned whether the UCI is doing enough to ensure the local organisers are putting enough emphasis on rider safety.

The Belgian Federation insisted that it "already makes every effort to minimize the risk of such accidents".

"RLVB wishes once again to emphasize that the safety of the riders, followers and spectators is one of its top priorities. Thus, last Thursday - ahead of the Belgian opening weekend - a meeting was organized for all drivers who are involved directly or indirectly in races (the media, medical services, marshals, police), a meeting during which each driver refreshed his knowledge of the rules."

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