BMC’s Ochowicz eyes legal action after moto incident

BMC boss Jim Ochowicz, furious at the UCI and race organizers, is considering "every legal option" after a TV moto decked one of his riders

Photo: TDW

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BMC Racing Team boss Jim Ochowicz blasted the UCI and organizers of the Clásica San Sebastián on Sunday, calling them “negligent” and vowing to explore “every legal option available to us” following an incident with a TV motorbike that left Greg Van Avermaet sprawled by the side of the road.

Van Avermaet had attacked on the final climb of Saturday’s race and was off the front alone when the moto struck his bike from behind, sending him to the ground.

“It was a steep climb and the moto driver was too close to me,” said Van Avermaet, who thought he was on target to win the race. “He ran right into the back of my bike. My frame was broken and my back wheel was broken. So the race was over for me.”

Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) wound up taking the victory ahead of BMC’s Philippe Gilbert and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

On Saturday, BMC sport director Yvon Ledanois called the incident between the moto and Van Avermaet “unacceptable.”

A day later, Ochowicz took it a step further, saying his rider and team were “robbed when this happened.”

“I am appalled that this could occur in a WorldTour race,” Ochowicz said. “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.”

The UCI and race organizers have yet to comment on the incident.

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