Boss of Quick-Step Floors, Patrick Lefevere, has called into question the effect that TV motorbikes are having on deciding races.
The head of the Belgian super team that has dominated this spring season has said that things need to change after his team failed to win at the Amstel Gold Race.
Speaking to Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure Lefevere said: “I do not want to be a bad loser, but the role of the bikes in the race is outrageous”.
The 63-year-old argued that it made the lives of riders chasing harder as motos would give breakaway riders drafting benefits. Given Quick-Step’s strength the gauntlet normally falls to them when chasing breakaways but Lefevere says that it applies to everyone.
“This applies to races elsewhere other than this Amstel. While Pieter Serry was giving maximum effort at the front of the group of favourites, the breakaway continued to gain ground because of the slipstream of the motorbikes.”
Lefevere said that he’d be taking it up with UCI President, David Lappartient, specifically that motos should drop behind any breakaway group when the gap hits a certain limit.
“[When the gap is below] 20 seconds, they must drop behind the leading men. I will write a letter on this subject to the UCI president David Lappartient because it can not continue. It is the motorbikes who decide the race…”
The Belgian team failed to make the podium in a classics season where they have dominated including wins at Tour of Flanders and E3 Harelbeke.
“It is the first time in a few weeks that we are not present on the podium of a Classic,” Lefevere added.
“Alaphilippe made an effort twice behind Valverde, and that emptied his legs. Philippe was just a bit short. As is often here [at Amstel], it comes down a little bit to who keeps their cool for the longest.
“It’s very difficult to escape the control that some teams put on the race.”
The Ardennes classics will once again test the best one day climbers with La Fleche Wallone on Wednesday before continuing on Sunday with the next Monument, Liege-Bastogne-Liege.