Deceuninck-Quick Step has sought to put an end to speculation over what one of its sports directors took from Remco Evenepoel’s pocket after the Belgian rider plunged over a bridge parapet at Il Lombardia two weeks ago, fracturing his pelvis. The team was responding to reports that the UCI has requested the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) to investigate the incident.
A video posted to Twitter earlier this week showed Davide Bramati retrieving the item from Evenepoel’s jersey pocket following the crash before medics arrived, with suggestions that something untoward was going on.
— La Flamme Rouge (@laflammerouge16) August 28, 2020
Quoted in Het Nieuwsblad yesterday, UCI president David Lappartient said: “We've asked CADF to further investigate the television images and question witnesses about the object that came out of Evenepoel's pocket.”
He said that there were also concerns about remarks made by Bramati following the crash, who said he knew it had happened immediately because Evenepoel’s “data had stopped.”
Lappartient said: “The sports director said he thought Evenepoel had fallen as no more data was being sent.
“What data are we talking about then? After all, it is forbidden to send certain data,” he continued.
“So, we are also looking at that point. If it is only about geographical position then it's something else, but sharing other data is not allowed.”
La Gazzetta dello Sport reported earlier this week that Bramati had told the newspaper that he removed energy gels and a bar as well as a small bottle and a radio from the rider’s pockets because he was aware that Evenepoel would be put on a stretcher.
In a statement released this morning, Deceuninck-Quick Step said: “We would like to clarify that we have been contacted by CADF earlier this week to discuss the incident surrounding Remco Evenepoel’s crash at Il Lombardia earlier this month.
“As has already been stated publicly, the item that was captured being removed from Remco’s pockets was a small bottle containing nutrition products and was removed in order to help him to be placed more comfortably by medical staff on the stretcher. We have reiterated this to CADF and we will continue to cooperate with their enquires if needed.
“With regards to the transmission of data, we would also like to clarify that data such as live location is transmitted by the Velon device that was installed on bikes during Il Lombardia by Velon in partnership with the race organiser. The devices allow everyone, including the fans, to track and see rider data live in the race.
“We are confident that this will put an end to any further speculation surrounding the incident,” the statement concluded.
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.