Matteo Tosatto (Tinkoff) and Eros Capecchi (Astana) have both alleged that Arnaud Demare (FDJ) took a tow from a team car during his Milan-San Remo win. The Frenchman lost contact with the front of the race just before the Cipressa after he was involved in a crash. However he made his way back to the race and took the sprint ahead of Ben Swift (Team Sky) and Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Soudal).
According to Tosatto, who had worked all day for Peter Sagan, his team leader, "Demare was off the back before the Cipressa. Then on the climb he passed us going twice our speed. I didn't see if he was on the car window or with a (sticky) bottle. Of course he was strong in the sprint but without that tow he would never have made it to contest the sprint. I've never seen a thing like that done so shamelessly."
Tosatto was speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport at the finish line in San Remo, and added: "I wasn't alone at that moment, there were other riders with me and I think they saw what happened pretty well.”
Capecchi backed up Tosatto's claims, telling the Italian publication that, "Demare passed us at 80km/h on the climb. I've never seen anything like that before. I was on Tosatto's wheel and saw it very clearly. Demare was hanging onto the right of the team car. It’s disgusting!"
According to reports race judge Herve Borcque was notified of the allegations but with no video or photographic proof, the matter was taken no further.
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Tosatto spoke to the Italian website Tuttobiciweb on Sunday morning as he travelled to Spain for the Volta a Catalunya, calling on Demare and race officials to release the data that the transponder and bike computer collected during the climb of the Cipressa, when he is accused of getting a tow from a team car.
"For sure Demare is a champion and I'm sure he's got the talent to be a great Classics rider but what I really didn't like was what I saw yesterday," Tosatto said.
"Considering that the race judges were told about it but said they didn't have the proof to confirm what lots of riders saw, I suggest two things: Why not use the transponder on the bike to verify the time Demare needed to climb the Cipressa. We can only see what the data says. Secondly, the French rider (Demare) could also supply the data from his bike computer to see his time for the Cipressa and the speed he was going. I'm sure it didn't take him long…"