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In an ugly repeat of similar incidents from 2015, incidents involving motorcycles took out two riders in two different races Sunday across Europe. Lotto – Soudal rider Stig Broeckx was taken down at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, while BMC Racing’s Danilo Wyss was also involved in an incident at La Drôme Classic in France.
In Belgium, Broeckx was peeling off the bunch on the right-hand side after taking a pull with about 35km to go in the semi-classic. As he was glancing over his left shoulder, a motorbike came up behind him, and struck him on his right side.
The 25-year-old Belgian was knocked off his bike, thrown to the ground on his right side, landing heavily on his right shoulder and elbow, before rolling over. Broeckx only looked on in shock as the motorbike sped past.
— Jon Cannings (@jon_cannings) February 28, 2016
Lotto – Soudal officials confirmed that Broeckx was transported to a local hospital for exams. According to a team press release, he was diagnosed with a displaced fracture of his right collar bone, a rib fracture, and a bruised hand. Officials said he would undergo surgery, and miss several weeks of racing.
Occurring on a relatively wide and flat road, the incident served as a reminder how fluid and dangerous races can be. Last year, there were several incidents of vehicles striking riders in races throughout the calendar, including incidents at Ronde van Vlaanderen, the Tour de France, Clásica San Sebastián, and Vuelta a España. The UCI promised to review rules and protocol in the wake of the accidents last season.
Also Sunday, BMC Racing claimed that Wyss’s chances of winning La Drôme Classic in France were spoiled when he was involved in a crash with a motorcycle. There were few details immediately available about what happened, but BMC said it ruined Wyss’s shot at the win.
“Danilo was perfectly positioned and the team had worked really well for him all day. In the closing stages of the race he was involved in a crash with a motorbike, which ruined any chance of him going for the win,” said BMC sport director Yvon Ledanois. “Danilo is disappointed with the outcome, especially as this was a perfect race route for a rider of his strengths. Luckily he is okay and did not walk away with any injuries.”