The Belgian rider was hit by a medical motor bike in the 2016 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, adding to the recent list of similar incidents

The UCI must take action after a motorbike hit Stig Broeckx on Sunday in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, otherwise, cycling is living by the law of the jungle, says former professional and union president Cédric Vasseur.

A passing medic motorbike swiped the team Lotto-Soudal Belgian cyclist in the final 35km of Belgium’s semi-Classic race. The team reported that he was taken to the hospital and suffered a fractured right collarbone, a rib fracture and a bruised hand. He will undergo surgery this evening.

It follows several car and motorbike incidents from 2015, including those in the Tour of Flanders, Tour de France and Vuelta a España.

“Honestly, the UCI must do something because it’s not acceptable to have the riders hit by cars or motorbikes. Those riders sacrifice so much to be there and in form for these races, and an incident ruins it all,” Vasseur told Cycling Weekly.

“It’s bad for team Lotto and bad for the image of cycling. Tonight, that’s all we are talking about. It’s not acceptable that we have this going on. Today it was Stig Broeckx, but it could have been anyone else.”

Vasseur won stages in the Tour and wore the yellow jersey. The Frenchman now works as a television commentator and knows the situation first hand because in Paris-Roubaix and the Tour de France, he is giving live coverage from the back of France TV2 motorbike.

“The motorbike driver must be sanctioned, the race organiser must be sanctioned, otherwise, it’s the law of jungle,” Vasseur added.

“We have many problems in cycling [with motors and talk of disc brakes], we have to rank them in importance. The biggest thing is the image of cycling, and of course, that’s safety of riders. It happened in Flanders and in the Vuelta, both WorldTour events, and today again in a hors category event.

“The UCI is not serious in facing this problem. They talk and say they will brainstorm, but it’s not about that now, you have to act at this point. If an organiser cannot have professional people in their race, then they don’t deserve WorldTour or hors category status.”

A Shimano car collided with Jesse Sergent (Trek Factory Racing) and Frenchman Sébastien Chavanel (FDJ) in the Tour of Flanders last year, a motorbike knocked down Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) in the Tour de France and the same with Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) in the Vuelta a España. Sagan was able to recover in time to win the World Championships.

“This is a safety issue. I was the CPA [Association of Professional Cyclists] president and I heard it in the UCI road commission meetings. They say safety is the most important thing in UCI race, but we see it’s just, ‘Bla bla bla.’ Though, nothing happens,” Vassuer said.

“I know Lotto is on its own tonight. The other teams must not be so selfish and unite to force a change.”

  • lustra

    It’s come to something when a motorist can hit a professional cyclist in a European race with the same impunity as if hitting a person on a bicycle on the roads of the UK.

  • Pat Garcia

    It’s not the cyclist’s responsibility to know the whereabouts of all of the motorbikes. At :04 and :05 you can see the cyclist was already out to the right at least one or two car lengths ahead of the motorbike. The moto driver never moves to right at all until he’s upon the cyclist, and then only a few inches, as if he had only just seen him at the moment of impact. You have to wonder if the moto driver was looking elsewhere the whole time the way he drove in a straight line right into the collision without ever changing his line. And why did he never stop after hitting the cyclist?

  • The rider is in front, and part of the race. The vehicle has to execute a SAFE pass. He/She only made a minor attempt to get out of the way before speeding off. It’s ironic that the medical bike causes an injury, but doesn’t stop to sort it.

  • John Smith

    Do they really, really need all these motorbikes
    Start there, they managed without them
    If it’s a marginal requirement, ditch them
    The TDF in Yorkshire 2014 had far too many

  • maprun

    A medic bike knocking down a rider and not stopping to see if he needs medical attention, you couldn’t make it up. It strikes me the mindset is, it is a racing incident as if they are race participants and it is someone else’s problem, as they have something more important to do. Accidents happen, but it’s what happens afterwards that is most alarming. If I was the race organiser I would have had a medic draw alongside the rider ASAP to enquire into his condition, to demonstrate riders matter!

  • Andrew Bairsto

    I thought the riders were the ones who were important not the various vehicles that have seem to have multiplied over the years.

  • PS5311

    The article neglects to mention Greg Van Avermaet, struck by a race motorbike at San Sebastian last year while contending for the win.

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    Time for solidarity. The DSs should have told their riders to stop the race. That could have been anyone’s teammate. If the teams aren’t up in arms about this, then the message is “we’re putting up with it and sorry for Broeckx, but we’re OK: the show goes on”. Teams – do your bit to send the message. A five minute protest at the start of the next Belgian race wouldn’t go amiss.

  • Adam O

    Does anyone have real stats to show if this is happening more than usual? I get the sense this is unusually common the last couple years.

  • wenchiana

    Appalling that the moto just keeps on speeding forwards. Brake light does not flash, he’s not even slowing down, only slight weave to the right but not enough to make the impact less serious.
    I think the local police should investigate this as a hit and run. Maybe not with intention to prosecute the moto driver but as a message to UCI and race organisers.
    These incidents have become way too frequent. Unnecessary collisions ruin riders’ seasons and affect race results. UCI must stop fiddling about and make the car and moto drivers much more careful. Hire only proper, careful, respectful and educated drivers, preferably ones who are atleast hobby cyclists. Sack these cannonballers.

  • Chris

    A medical moto knocks a rider off and then doesn’t stop?

  • David Bassett

    Something needs to be done but in this case as others it was the rider moving out and hit the Moto. All vehicles weaver to or four wheels should leave their air horns on when passing. It is then up to the rider (that will know something is coming through) to move out stay were he is or whatever. The riders can be bloody minded and will not give way to team cars and others that are coming through. The race com will have given direction for vehicles (unless you are French TV) to come through so it is a two way thing. Moto’s have to respect riders and riders should respect vehicles.