The Belgian cycling federation (KBWB) is thinking about suspending race motorbikes who disobey instructions. Suspensions would last one week. The announcement came following new problems in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Technical director Jos Smets blamed a lack of respect on the side motorbikers. "There are clear announcements. People who can't listen will have to feel the consequences," Smets told Sportwereld.
Rabobank Directeur Sportif Erik Dekker was complaining about Saturday's race when Philippe Gilbert, Nick Nuyens and Frédéric Amorison attacked to try to reach the front duo of Sebastian Langeveld and Heinrich Haussler. "There was a pack of motorbikes ahead of the trio and the three gained 30 seconds in just two kilometres!"
Smets acknowledged the problem. "In the given scenario we have the guidelines that there should be no motorbike within 100 metres ahead of the riders. A motorbike is not supposed to be between groups if the gap is less than 15 seconds. This rule was not respected by everyone during the Omloop."
The federation held a meeting with Sportspress, a union of sports journalists, yesterday. "I want to clarify it was not just photographers who were at fault. Also people from VRT [television crew - ed.], from the organisation and from the race direction were in the way sometimes," Smets said. "We want to check if that many cars are really necessary in the race."
Photographers may be required to work in pools in the future. This would limit their numbers in small and dangerous places and the pictures would have to be shared with their colleagues.