Bauke Mollema has raised issue with the motorbikes riding too close to the peloton at the Giro d’Italia.
The Trek-Segafredo rider complained about the bikes after stage 15, saying they had given an unfair advantage to the bunch over the two-rider breakaway.
Dutchman Mollema said the television bikes had ridden between 10 and 30 metres in front of the main group of riders, giving them an aerodynamic advantage.
Taking to Twitter to vent his frustration, the 32-year-old said: “Super happy to see the break making it to the finish.
“If not, the winner should have sent some flowers to [Italian broadcaster] RAI/ TV motorbikes.
“All day only 10-30 metres in front of the bunch. Really UCI, is this a WorldTour race? Or they don’t care about safety and fair play in Italy?”
Mollema said he had complained to the riders’ union the CPA as well as the Giro d’Italia organisers and the race jury.
Movistar’s José Joaquín Rojas responded on Twitter, agreeing with Mollema by questioning why he hadn’t raised the issue publicly before.
The Spaniard said: “Last week there were the same bikes in the same place and you did not complain?
“I agree with you, but you could have put this tweet out on the first day to try and fix it.
“We only remember when it rains on our roof.”
Mollema responded: “It didn’t influence me personally today, but it almost did for the two guys in front.
“I have already complained a lot to the CPA and the jury in the last two weeks, but if that doesn’t help?”
Stage 15 was defined by a two rider breakaway made up of Dario Cataldo (Astana) and Mattia Catteno (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), with the latter taking the victory in the sprint.
The pair had build up a 12-minute advantage at one point, but that had closed to 11 seconds by the line.
Complaints about riders drafting behind motos is not new to the professional peloton – in 2017, riders complained about incidents at the Tour of Oman, Ruta del Sol and the Volta ao Algarve, which were all taking place at the same time.
A study carried out by the Eindhoven University of Technology, published in 2016, found that “the aerodynamic effect of motorcycles can be substantial and even decisive.”
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