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Bahrain Victorious pro banned for one month for causing horrendous Tour of Flanders crash

Filip Maciejuk later described the move – which saw him swerve back into the peloton after losing control while moving up on a grass verge – as a “big error in judgement”

The UCI has banned Bahrain Victorious pro Filip Maciejuk from racing for 30 days, nearly four months after the 23-year-old was disqualified from the Tour of Flanders for causing a horrendous crash that injured several riders.

The world governing body announced this morning that its Disciplinary Commission had ruled against the Polish rider for his role in the crash on 2 April – which took place after he lost control on a grass verge, swerving back in the peloton – and suspended him from racing for 30 days. The ban commenced yesterday.

> Horrendous Tour of Flanders crash sees Bahrain Victorious pro disqualified

The horrific pile-up came with around 140km to go at this year’s Tour of Flanders, as the peloton raced for position ahead of the first ascent of the Oude Kwaremont, one of the key climbs of the prestigious cobbled classic.

Maciejuk could be seen moving up on a footpath on the left-hand side of the road, before riding onto a flooded grass verge, where he lost control of his bike. The second-year pro was flung back across into the peloton, hitting UAE Team Emirates’ Tim Wellens and in turn bringing down dozens of riders behind.

Wellens was one of the worst affected in the crash, abandoning the race with a broken collarbone, while Ineos Grenadiers’ Ben Turner also fractured his left arm.

Former winner Peter Sagan, riding his final Tour of Flanders, was also forced to leave the race early, while Julian Alaphilippe, Jasper Stuyven, Davide Ballerini, Edoardo Affini, and Yves Lampaert were among the other big names to hit the deck.

Commentating for GCN and Eurosport, Dan Lloyd said “it is a long time since I have seen a crash as big as that”.

Maciejuk was almost immediately disqualified by the race commissaires for his actions, a decision which forms part of the UCI’s drive in recent years to eradicate the common sight of riders attempting to move up the side of the bunch using pavements, cycle paths, verges, and gutters.

The disqualification was welcomed at the time by Lotto-Dstny’s Thomad De Gendt, who tweeted that “dangerous” off-road moves like Maciejuk’s need to be banned, and that he would “okay with suspensions for moves like this”.

According to the UCI’s Disciplinary Commission, the 23-year-old was found “in breach of article 12.4.007 of the UCI regulations for having caused the crash of several riders in the peloton after riding outside the race course and through a puddle on the roadside.”

Article 12.4.007 of the UCI states: “Any person or entity subject to this Part who exposes another party to an immediate risk of death or injury by a deliberate act or behaviour that is contrary to the regulations regarding safety or care shall receive a disciplinary sanction.”

Maciejuk, who has raced the Amstel Gold Race, Flechè Wallonne, and several stage races since the crash, will now only be eligible to compete again on 25 August, meaning he will miss out on selection for the Polish national team at the upcoming UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow. He will also be banned from competing in his home national tour, the Tour of Poland.

> Incredible Tadej Pogačar wins Tour of Flanders with stunning solo move

In the hours after causing the crash – as Tadej Pogačar was still storming towards his first Ronde win – Maciejuk took to social media to apologise.

“I’m really sorry for my mistake and causing the crash today,” he said. “I hope all those involved are in good health and safe. This should not happen and was a big error in my judgement.

“I had no intention of causing this. All I can do now is apologise for my mistake and learn from this in the future. Sorry again to the peloton, my teammates, and the fans.”

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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5 comments

Avatar
Jimmy Ray Will | 8 months ago
2 likes

I'm all for this... But not sure why it took nearly four months to facilitate.
Riders need to be sanctioned more commonly, consistently and quickly for causing accidents.
No beef, no shame, just an objective consequence for fcuking up.
It's the only way to get riders / teams to take more responsibility when racing.

Avatar
Legin | 8 months ago
0 likes

A BS decision; what about all the others who were on the pavement; they put the peloton at risk as well.

Avatar
rct replied to Legin | 8 months ago
3 likes

Pavement? he was on the grass!

Avatar
Legin replied to rct | 8 months ago
0 likes

rct wrote:

Pavement? he was on the grass!

It's road racing not footpath racing; many more than him broke the rules.

Avatar
Steve K | 8 months ago
0 likes

Justice delayed is justice denied.

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