The rider who attacked two Swiss team members during last month’s Tour of Hainan has been handed a two-year suspension for what the Chinese Cycling Association (CCA) called an incident of “irrational violence.” Keyi Look rider Wang Xin will not be allowed to take part in any racing for six months and is barred from joining a professional team until 2019.
His team, their manager and two other members of the team have also been punished for failing to control the rider. None of them will be able to work with a professional cycling team, while the team itself has been forbidden for applying for a licence in 2018.
“The China Cycling Association has always been zero tolerance of the venue violations and violent incidents,” read a statement on the CCA’s website. “The Association requires all domestic and foreign convoys, bicycle teams from all provinces and cities across the country, teams and individuals who participate in various amateur competitions to strictly abide by discipline rules and maintain a good style of racing so as to prevent such incidents from happening again.”
The attack stemmed from an incident earlier on stage 7 when the commissaires allowed teams to do some in-race feeding of the riders. The Swiss car was travelling up the left side of the pack when Wang crashed. It appeared that the car had bumped Wang, but Swiss team manager has said that the Chinese rider touched wheels with a rider ahead of him, which resulted in the crash.
“We went slow and stopped on the left side to let the rider pass,” explained Swiss coach and former rider Danilo Hondo. “All of the riders had no problems, just this Chinese rider – he was one of the last in the peloton. You can see on Eurosport, that we stopped and the rider passed us, but then he fell over the back wheel of a rider in front of us.
“We had a journalist in our car, and she worked for the Tour of Hainan as well and she has confirmed to us several times that the rider did a mistake by himself.”
Wang reacted to the crash by throwing a bidon at the car before continuing on his way. Upon finishing the stage, however, Wang launched a physical attack on one member of the Swiss team, pushing him to the ground. He was pulled off, but stormed off before attacking another member of the team. The police went to intervene but Wang walked off and fetched a pump out of the boot of the Swiss team car before it was taken from him.
“As a sign of our respect for the rider, the team and China, we still wanted to discuss and clarify the situation with the team and the driver. That's why we went to the team and waited for the rider together. But already the team manager had a very aggressive and negative attitude and for him and the carers, there was only one culprit for the crash of their rider, us.
“When the rider arrived, he was he was completely out of control, as was shown on the video, and was actively supported by the carers. The team manager just stood there and did not do anything about it, on the contrary, we felt that he wanted this situation and had organized it in a certain way.”
Wang later apologised for the incident on social media but he was immediately expelled from the race. The CCA said that even if the car had bumped Wang, it was no excuse for his actions.
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