Driver who cut off Schachmann during Il Lombardia fined

Strade Bianche 2020 - 14th Edition - Siena - Siena 184 km - 01/08/2020 - Maximilian Schachmann (GER - Bora - Hansgrohe) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2020
Maximilian Schachmann of Bora-Hansgrohe finished third at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Authorities in Italy have given a €129 fine and docked two points from the driving licence of the woman who drove onto the course during the finale of Il Lombardia on Saturday, cutting off German champion Maximilian Schachmann, who plowed into the side of her vehicle and fractured his collarbone.

Investigators reconstructed the events and found that the driver came out of one of the private driveways on the descent of the San Fermo della Battaglia "at a point that was not visible" to the police at the nearest protection point. She turned right and drove about 200m on the course toward Cernobbio before turning left into the path of Schachmann, who was on his way to seventh place.

Schachmann finished the race but later examinations showed he had fractured a collarbone in the impact with the car.

"I didn't know there was a race," the woman said according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

She was fined for "driving on a closed stretch of road, in violation of the order" and "making a left turn without making sure she could do it safely." There could be further sanctions against the driver because the accident caused an injury.

Schachmann said on Twitter, "Unfortunately my collarbone is broken but in the end happy that it's 'just' the collarbone. There are moments in life where you don't have your fortune in your own hands. I had one today..."

The UCI said it would launch an investigation into the race organisers RCS Sport for allowing the driver onto the course.

Race Director Mauro Vegni told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “The UCI can investigate if they want. We have not had any contact [from them], we only read the press release. 

"We do our part to the utmost for safety," Vegni said. "In a 230km route there are thousands of access points. It is also up to people to respect the rules: when I find [caution] tape, I stop. But now it is all to be verified, we will leave it to the investigators to investigate. 

"I am very sorry for what happened but also aware that it is complicated: to block every single access it would take three thousand men, you can't do that. And it is impossible not to know about Lombardy, the municipality of Como had published the race route everywhere, and we even more."

Earlier in the race Deceuninck-QuickStep's star rider Remco Evenepoel had a more serious crash when he appeared to lose control on the descent of the Sormano and crashed into the ravine in a corner. He suffered a broken pelvis and was flown to Herentals, Belgium for further treatment today.

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