'Motorpaced peloton' catches breakaway close to finish as complaints over drafting continue

Breakaway riders take to Twitter after being caught two kilometres from finish on stage four of the Volta ao Algarve

Motorbikes in front of the peloton on stage two of the Dubai Tour (Credit: Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

After a handful of complaints last week about riders benefiting from drafting behind motorbikes in races, breakaway riders at the Volta ao Algarve weren't too pleased to hear that the peloton had been able to ride close behind camera bikes on stage four of the Portuguese race.

Ryan Mullen (Cannondale-Drapac), Taco van der Hoorn (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij), and Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) put in an excellent effort on the penultimate stage of the race to hold off the peloton until just two kilometres to go.

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Initially all three riders initially said how pleased they were with their day in the break, but that quickly turned to frustration after Mullen had apparently chatted with team-mate Sep Vanmarcke.

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The Belgian had been in the pursuing peloton, and said that the chasers had benefited from the draft of camera motorbikes riding in front of the main pack.

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According to new regulations introduced by the UCI just two weeks ago camera motorbikes should film "from 3/4 in front of the riders [i.e. not directly in front of the riders] and not remain permanently in front of the peloton".

The motorbike driver was sanctioned under the rules, and was not allowed in the race for the final stage.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.