Cyclist blames motorbikes for rivals unfair advantage on Giro d'Italia

A typical sportsman's excuse or a genuine grievance? Cyclist accuses motorbikes of giving rivals advantage on Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia cyclist blames motorbikes for giving rivals unfair slipstreaming advantage

WITH SUCH fine margins between success and failure for hyper-fit pro cyclists and their multi-million-pound sponsor-emblazoned teams, it is no surprise riders will do anything to gain an advantage. 

And we mean anything. Just ask Lance Armstrong.

Today’s gains can be in the moment though, with a rider competing in the ongoing Giro d’Italia – regarded as the biggest cycling race in the world outside of the Tour de France – complaining his rivals are getting a slipstreaming advantage by following motorbikes closely at the front.

Trek-Segafredo rider Bauke Mollena says the motorbikes - often seen out front carrying TV crews or medical personnel on standby – are creating a bubble effect for the leading cyclists and pulling them along.

Check out the Tweet from Mollema and the subsequent response from rival Jose Joaquin Rojas, who proceed to engage in a light spat as they dispute whether it’s a genuine grievance or merely an entry in the fabled book of excuses. Either way, fan ‘Carlos CR’ – who threatens to use a baseball bat as a solution – needs to calm right down…

Such an aerodynamic advantage is not necessarily a new addition a sportsperson’s ‘yeah but…’ gospel by any means, with Cycling Weekly saying studies in 2016 showed “the aerodynamic effect of motorcycles can be substantial and even decisive.” 

In Mollena’s defence, he has a painful history with motorbikes after famously colliding with one on the Tour de France in 2016 after it made a sudden stop due to overcrowding on the stage. 

The incident - which can be viewed in all of its knee-grazing uncomfortable glory below - also involved eventual event winner Chris Froome, who famously abandoned his broken bike and took to running up the hill instead to get a new one. 

We'll stick to a horse over pedal power...