Simon Yates defends brother’s San Sebastian win after BMC’s reaction

Simon Yates takes to Twitter to voice his frustration over the reaction to his twin's victory in the Clásica San Sebastián

Photo: TDW

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MILAN (VN) — Simon Yates, twin brother of Clásica San Sebastián winner Adam, called BMC Racing’s reaction to Greg Van Avermaet’s crash with a television motorbike “disrespectful.”

The Orica-GreenEDGE rider took to Twitter to defend his 22-year-old brother and teammate following Saturday’s incident in the Basque Country in northern Spain.



Yates posted a grainy screen shot of the television coverage with around 10 kilometers to race that showed Belgian Van Avermaet crashing and Adam Yates around two yards behind.

Underneath the photograph, he wrote, “#justsaying.” Race winner Adam retweeted Simon’s post.


The posts came following BMC’s reaction to the incident.

“The bad thing is that I think I could have won the race,” Van Avermaet said in a press release Saturday. “I had a big gap.”

“Greg had a good gap,” added Sport Director Yvon Ledanois. “If this does not happen, he wins the race and Philippe finishes second.”

Team president Jim Ochowicz said Sunday, “Greg was robbed and the BMC Racing Team was robbed when this happened.”

Van Avermaet attacked on the final climb of the day with around 10 kilometers to race, but a following TV motorbike lost control on the narrow road and touched its front wheel with the bicycle’s rear wheel. BMC’s cyclist, winner of the Tour de France’s Rodez stage, went down on the right and Yates made his way through the carnage on the left.

Yates made an attack of his own later on the climb. He went on to win his first WorldTour race, which was partly spoiled by a loss of TV coverage. He did not realize he had won when he reached the finish solo, only throwing up his hands to celebrate the San Sebastián win several moments after crossing the line.

It is not the first time this year that vehicles played their part in a race. Dane Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) was taken down by a motorbike in the Tour de France, and in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, a Shimano service car caused both Jesse Sergent (Trek Factory Racing) and Sébastien Chavanel (FDJ) to crash.

Adam Yates himself was involved in a controversial crash with BMC’s Peter Stetina nearby in a stage finish of the País Vasco this April. In the final kilometer of a sprint finish, the group had to make its way around poorly marked traffic poles on the road. Stetina broke his right tibia, patella, and four ribs, and Yates broke his finger.

Ochowicz added that the team plans “to explore every legal option” after the incident Saturday that marred the Spanish classic.

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