Tinkoff-Saxo criticise "reckless auxiliary motorbike" after Slovak star is forced to withdraw from the season's final Grand Tour

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) has withdrawn from the Vuelta a España after sustaining injuries from a collision with a motorbike on stage eight.

In a strongly worded statement ahead of the start of stage nine, Tinkoff-Saxo said that Sagan “was hit by a reckless auxiliary motorcycle” and would be unable to continue.

The accident came in the final kilometres of stage eight. Sagan suffered wounds and burns of the first and second degree on the left side of his body, as well as a contusion on his left forearm.

According to Tinkoff-Saxo’s statement, “The team doctor, together with the sports directors at the Vuelta, decided that Sagan cannot safely continue the race with the injuries he suffered. As a result, he will fly back home as soon as possible.”

After the stage, Sagan said, “I didn’t even hear the motorbike coming. I find it unacceptable that a motorbike tries to weave its way into the group at such high speed.

“They accelerate and try to sneak in when they see an empty space. However, they don’t take into consideration that a rider might fall in front of them or change direction. They go extremely fast and the difference of speed compared to the riders is enormous.”

Sagan reacted angrily to the incident, and was later fined for abusive language.

“Last but not least, I go back to the team hotel and I read I was fined 300 francs for insults and threats as well as behavior that damages the image of cycling,” said Sagan. “I will, obviously, pay it but I consider it unjust.”

Stage eight of the Vuelta was marred with crashes. Kris Boeckmans (Lotto-Soudal) is in a medically induced coma after hitting a pot-hole while drinking from his bidon. He suffered serious facial trauma, with several fractures, as well as concussion, three broken ribs, and bleeding in his lung.

Boeckmans’s crash also affected several other riders. Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing), Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) and Nacer Bouhanni (Confidis) sustained injuries in the same incident, and were also forced to retire from the race.

Stage eight was won by Jasper Stuyven (Trek Factory Racing), while Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) holds the overall lead.

  • Katka Shiroi Hutnikovie

    This is outrageous and shame on Spain for this horrible behaviour.

  • Namothy

    Sagan gets fined for reacting angrily and the motorcyclist gets the rest of the week off by being expelled from the tour. UCI are a joke.

  • Les Orton

    Having seen this stage first hand you have to ask why are there so many unneeded vehicles mixed up with the riders. Could it be jollies for paying customers?

  • FPCyclist

    Who else will be hurt in some absurd manner before this thing ends? My word. It’s becoming as dangerous as a commute through London.

  • SeanMcCuen

    props to Sagan for not taking it like a b-tch, this issue needs to be acknowledged.

  • poisonjunction

    Apparently employed by the Vuelta Organisers the Motor Cycle Pilot ONLY gets thrown of ‘duties’ – HOW much is HE fined for Assault in knocking a competitor from his bike, incapacitating him from continuing and possibly winning the stage, as he is /was quite capable of doing, and injuring him sufficiently that he wae unable to continue the full length of the race?

  • blemcooper

    If anything, Sagan’s reaction improves the image of cycling after the damage of race vehicles and support staff getting involved in the sport by knocking competitors out of the mix.

    It reiterates the fact that the racers are human competitors, not remote controlled robots.

  • Brendan Power

    Message to Sagan from the organisers (and the UCI): “We are entitled to ruin your race and, almost, your career but you are not entitled to complain. Incidentally, knocking riders off their bikes does nothing to harm the image of cycling, but complaing does so we’re fining you 300 francs. Have a nice weekend.”

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    Poor Sagan was also fined 300 Swiss Franc in the process. Well, Sagan and Tinkoff will be wanting more than a thousand times that sum in compensation.