British sprinter Daniel McLay has said that the photographer that he collided with after he won the Trofeo Palma on Sunday has apologised.
McLay was left with cuts to his face and abrasions after the incident, which happened directly after the finish line.
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The 25-year-old Fortuneo-Vital Concept rider was immediately taken to hospital for treatment and missed the podium ceremony. His team confirmed in a statement that he had not broken any bones.
“I would like to say that the photographer has personally apologised to me, and I accept this and can leave it behind,” McLay said via Twitter.
“It was a mistake which can be avoided with better organisation in the future but all parties are ok except for a few scrapes so all ok!”
McLay had sprinted at full speed in the finale of the Challenge Mallorca four-day event, lunging his bike across the line. He did not celebrate as he crossed the finish as it was so close the result had to be settled via a finish-line photo.
Photographer Oliver Neilson was at the finish when the incident happened behind him, and he captured the aftermath with his camera. A group of motorbikes and riders were also knocked over as a result of the collision.
“I’m not sure what happened, but just behind the photographer involved there were a group of motos parked with the riders aboard, and a few of them were knocked over at the same time,” Neilson told Cycling Weekly.
Speaking via a team statement, McLay said: “I saw the photographer, I expected him to move but he kept looking in his camera. I could not shift right because there were riders. I wanted to get around him, and at that point he got up and we collided. I still didn’t know if I’d won. It was my teammates who told me after the fall.”
The victory saw McLay beat fellow sprinters Matteo Pelucchi (Bora-Hansgrohe), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) to chalk up a strong early-season win, despite the following incident.
Referring to his team-mates who collectively appeared on the Trofeo Palma podium in his absence, McLay joked: “It was s**t about the crash but it’s pretty cool the guys who did all the hard work were actually the ones on the podium!”