Two riders in a top cyclo-cross race in Belgium on Sunday were disqualified after tempers flared between them, with the incident caught by TV cameras.
The unseemly set-to at the Flandriencross in Hamme took place between Vincent Baestaens of Beobank-Corendon and Crelan-Vastgoedservice rider Jens Adams, reports Sporza.
The pair had already clashed on one corner, Adams hitting the deck as Baestaens tried to overtake him.
Metres later, on the next corner, both riders came down – and some pushing and shoving followed, with Adams sent into the barriers by an irate Baestaens, the rider in the white, who apparently thought that his rival had aimed an elbow at him.
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Baestens apologised afterwards, saying: “My reaction was wrong, I let myself get carried away in the heat of battle."
Adams said: “I made an arm movement, wanting to urge Vincent to ride more calmly. Unfortunately, both Vincent and the jury saw it differently.”
He added: “I am absolutely not by nature an aggressive rider and I tried to keep calm after I was pushed to the ground.
“However annoying it is, I’d like to close this matter on a positive note.
“Vincent, let’s draw a line under it and move onto next week – then we’ll fight each other fairly.”
The race was won by Baestaen’s team mate, the Dutch former world champion, Mathieu van der Poel – whose Strava ride we featured last week after he rode more than 200km home to Antwerp from the cancelled World Cup race at Koksijde.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.