Russian WorldTour team issue their list of actions they expect implemented following the incident which saw Peter Sagan taken out by a neutral service motorbike

Tinkoff-Saxo have issued an open letter to both the UCI and the Vuelta a España organisers, Unipublic, addressing their concerns over the incident on stage eight of the race which saw Peter Sagan hit by a neutral service motorbike.

The Russian team also listed a series of actions they expect the organisations to take in light of the incident, including revoking the fine that was given to Sagan over his reaction to the incident which saw him out of the race and with some severe road rash.

>>> Twitter reacts to Peter Sagan’s moto incident

The Slovak champion retired from the race the next day, and is just another incident in a long list of similar collisions that have happened so far this season. Jesse Sergent (Trek Factory Racing) was hit by a neutral service car at the Tour of Flanders in April, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) was driven into by a photographer’s motorbike at the Tour de France, while Greg van Avermaet was taken out of contention at the Clasica San Sebatian in August by a camera motorbike.

The open letter, addressed to head of Unipublic  Javier Guillen and UCI president Brian Cookson, cites five requests from Tinkoff-Saxo who also ask that they are addressed by no later than the final day of the Vuelta on September 13. The team also say that they “reserve the right to initiate proceedings” over the incident.


“The facts are clear and beyond discussion,” the letter reads. “The driver of the motorcycle carelessly and improperly tried to overtake the reduced peloton at very high speed about 8km from the finish line apparently in an attempt to reach the leading three riders a few seconds in front.

“It is clear that the driver should not have performed the overtaking of the peloton and – at a minimum –he failed to use adequate care in his attempt.”

You can read the full list of demands below:

1. Unipublic as La Vuelta’s race organiser issue a public apology for the incident, something not done to date;

2. Whilst not seeing this as in any way as compensating for our loss, we propose that Unipublic offer a donation to a charity organization – to be named by Tinkoff Sport A/S in agreement with Peter Sagan – equal to the value of the prize for the Green Jersey victory, or suggest an alternative which acknowledges that as race organiser it has accountability for the safety of its event;

3. Unipublic take appropriate and concrete measures to prevent similar incidents in the remaining stages of the race and its future events;

4. Tinkoff Sport A/S requests that the Union Cycliste Internationale (Uci) revoke the fine to our rider for “behavior that damages the image of cycling”. The team and Peter Sagan accept the other fine for the reaction Peter Sagan had after the crash but it is simply inappropriate to fine him for damaging the image of cycling under these circumstances;

5. We also request that the Uci initiate – in consultation with our and other teams’ representatives and other relevant stakeholders – a review of the rules regulating the admission to vehicles’ drivers inside the race and the way vehicles are obliged to act while driving in the convoy and peloton, with the intent of implementing appropriate rules changes no later than the start of the 2016 race season.

Tinkoff are not the first to issue an open letter this week to the UCI over safety concerns, with BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz penning his own issues on organisation in a letter released on Wednesday.

“Someone please step forward!” he said in his letter to the UCI.

“Safety problems at races continue to accelerate and are now a nearly everyday issue. The sport is looking for leadership and courage with regards to the safety of the riders.”

BMC have seen riders like Taylor Phinney, Peter Stetina, and Greg Van Avermaet all suffer through incidents which potentially could have been avoided, with Stetina suffering severe injuries after crashing into metal bollards left on the final straight on a stage at the 2015 Tour of the Basque Country.

  • NitroFan

    A typical Ian Fanklin post rather than get to the point you make all kinds of allusions until common sense forces you to come clean with your actual gripe which in this case is corruption in a federation nothing to do with racism at all! Corruption is endemic in certain parts of the world Switzerland being one! The UCI would never be able to change a national charachter so they are focusing on the things they can get done!

    I suggest it is you that should think before you post in future that way you may be able to get your real message out in a clear manner.

  • Beniskly

    To an extent, this invalidates and negates the race outcomes. There is no sport left; this is no longer bike racing.

  • Beniskly

    These incidences, separately and together, have greatly detracted from my fanship of professional competitive cycling sport that I have developed over the years. Therefore as a fan, I am issuing a 300 Swiss Franc punitive fine on both the UCI and Unipublic for the loss of my interest and the invalidation of my revered sport. Payment of this fine is to be given to the Tinkoff-Saxo Team organization with attention to Peter Sagan.

  • Nothing to do with the ‘race industry’ as you call it. A lot to do with the Thais treating overseas cycists as pariahs and refusing to issue licences to overseas riders as they should under the regulations of the UCI. A lot to do with Brian Cookson trivializing the issue. Think before you post, eh?

  • daveinmaine22

    Is there a reasonable explanation for the Vuelta’s silence on these incidents? Are they afraid of liability if they apologize or comment? Are they just hoping if they ignore it it will go away? It seems reprehensible that vehicles connected to the race organization have influenced the outcome of the stages and they are just pretending it didn’t happen

  • David Mosby

    UCI intergrated camera helmet as standard, might sort things out , and improve every cyclist. Like what F1 does for every motorist.

  • RobTM

    Well a camera bike took another of Oleg’s riders out today, the Portuguese Paulihno needed 17 stitches and had to abandon the stage. Oleg got heated in Twitter a boycott of ASO races were threatened.

  • RobTM

    Cookson isn’t running the Vuelta. It actually takes time to make changes, not his fault if there’s a court for sporting arbitration and a framework to work in.

    The guy isn’t the world dictator of cycling. I’ve seen changes like the revival of the hour record and trialling of disc brakes, which are allowing bikes to evolve.

  • Kevino Daviessss

    BrianCookson was great?? What’s he actually achieved or changed of any relevance in cycling since becoming Head Honcho, I don’t recall anything and think it’s going backwards, where is he on this issue? Where was he when Froome was being insulted on T de F? Racist comments in Peleton? Nope on every account . Does anyone know has he been on Holiday since taking over???

  • NitroFan

    I dissagree like everywhere else race will only become an “issue” in cycling if we engage with the “race industry” bigots to make it one.

  • ummm…

    well maybe the UCI doesn’t promote it, but general racism still exists. Sometimes it pops up in cycling. Who is/can fix it? Time maybe. But, don’t pretend that a south african team made up of a mixture of races and now some top riders means that race is a moot point in cycling.

  • NitroFan

    Oh indeed issuing a race licence to MTN-Qhubeka was a highly racist move.
    We really do not need the race industry getting their tallons into cycling thank you.

  • Mike Prytherch

    Brian Cookson was great when he took over the UCI, now he seems to of settled into the job and quick changes/promises seem to of disappeared, a respected Chief Exec once said to me, after 6 months in a job you start to be institutionalised and become less effective, Cookson is showing these signs.

    “behavior that damages the image of cycling”… I think taking out one of the best riders in the world and robbing him of the green jersey is doing that and not saying sorry disgusts me, common sense must prevail.

  • The UCI is here being accused of a lack of leadership and courage. I would like to add that they are also inherently racist and incidents that highlight racism,of which the UCI are fully aware, are being trivialised and at worst ignored. I would have hoped that the recent change of leadership would have begun to transform the UCI. Alas it all seems out of control.