The BMC team has issued a second statement after Greg Van Avermaet was hit by a race motorbike during the finale of the Clásica San Sebastian, with team manager Jim Ochowicz saying the team will "explore every legal option available to us" after what he describes as an act of "pure negligence" cost the team "millions of dollars in lost publicity".
Van Avermaet and BMC vented their anger immediately after the finish of the Clásica San Sebastian on Saturday; with the Belgian claiming he would have won the WorldTour race without the incident. The BMC also posted video footage that shows a race motorbike accelerated into the back of Van Avermaet after he had attacked alone on the last climb. He was not hurt but the motorbike broke his bike and he was unable to finish the race.
Britain's Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) attacked and passed the accident and rode on to win alone in San Sebastian.
The BMC team issued a first statement on Saturday, with Ochowicz asking: "Where is the UCI in all of this?"
Earlier in the season BMC rider Pete Stetina suffered a fractured right tibia, patella and five ribs in a crash near the finish of stage one Vuelta al Pais Vasco. Metal poles were left in the line of the riders on a final corner, sparking a high-speed crash. Stetina is set to return to racing at this week's Tour of Utah, alongside teammate Taylor Phinney, who crashed at speed during the 2014 US road race championships after an incident with a motorcycle on a descent. He suffered a compound fracture of his tibia, a dislocated fibula, shattered his kneecap, and severed his patellar tendon when he crashed into a guardrail.
The BMC team suggested Van Avermaet's crash was caused a race radio motorbike.
"Greg was robbed and the BMC Racing Team was robbed when this happened. I am appalled that this could occur in a WorldTour race," Ochowicz is quoted as saying in the statement from the team.
"This is the second time this year we have had an incident with a local organizer of a WorldTour race where they have acted in a scandalous fashion. The UCI has been nowhere in this to resolve the problem. This comes back to safety issues in races where the local organizer of WorldTour events and the UCI are negligent in providing a safe racing environment."
"This was not a sporting incident. This was caused by pure negligence, which cost the team millions of dollars in lost publicity. Therefore, we plan to explore every legal option available to us."
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