Patrick Lefevere believes Greg Van Avermaet gained an unfair advantage by having a motorbike in front of him as he attacked in Dwars door Vlaanderen
Motorbikes are still a contentious issue in cycling even when they’re not knocking people off their bikes.
The Belgian rider broke away from the peloton in the final 10km and looked as if he could hold his slender lead all the way to the line, finally being overcome in the last kilometre.
But according to Lefevere, the camera motorbike placing itself in front of Van Avermaet helped the breakaway rider get away up the road and even extend his gap when the peloton were working hard to bring him back.
“The [TV company] may well be a fan of Van Avermaet,” he is quoted as saying in Het Laatste Nieuws. “Beware, I have nothing against Greg, he is a world class rider. He has not asked for [this].
“But cameras have to drive behind an attacker, not in front. Niki Terpstra drove the chase f*cking hard. He pushed at say 450 watts, yet Van Avermaet extended his lead from 12 to 18 seconds.
“It is up to the regulator on the motorbikes to intervene. Fortunately Van Avermaet still [got caught], otherwise I would have been even more pissed.”
People weren’t going to let Lefevere get away with this claim, though, with a presenter from the TV company taking the pictures from the bike pointing out that exactly the same thing happened when Terpstra won the race in 2014.
“That was also what happened when Niki Terpstra won DDV, right?” tweeted Karl Vannieuwkerke.
“I am proud that I have an opinion. I’m glad not everyone agreed,” Lefevere responded on Thursday.