PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
Following the controversy at Ghent-Wevelgem last week when Nico Mattan seemed to benefit from from accidental assistance by press motorbikes, the race commissaire's car and the Shimano neutral service car, Shimano have announced that they have suspended the driver of that car, Paul Debaeremaeker.
Having been dropped by Juan Antonio Flecha going into the final kilometre, Mattan was 'helped' back up to the Spaniard in the final 200 metres of the ProTour event, and won the deciding sprint. The race commissaires later decided that the result should stand, although an investigation is being conducted into the behaviour of the race vehicles following Flecha.
A statement from Shimano Europe PR office Harald Troost says: "It is not clear how much advantage Mattan had of this situation but he managed to overtake Flecha to claim the victory in this important ProTour race... It is evident that Shimano and Libma Exploitatie BV (who carry out the neutral support on our behalf) are very unhappy with this incident. There is no need for us to explain that we are and need to be completely neutral in our technical support during all races as an official supplier of the UCI. Awaiting the outcome of the official investigation carried out by the UCI the driver of the concerned neutral car (Mr. Paul Debaeremaeker) has been suspended until further notice."