WATCH: Huge Controversy as UCI U23 Dutch Hardman Nils Eekhoff disqualified after Winning Race
Dutch hardman Nils Eekhoff crashed, dislocated his shoulder, fought to ride back through the cars to the peloton and then won a six up man sprint! Absolutely Gutted!
The 21-year-old crashed early on in the race, dislocating his shoulder, amazingly he got back on his bike and returned to the race.
However, in video footage, he seemed to grab a sticky bottle and used some drafting to bridge back up to the peloton.
After more than 124 kilometres of racing, the brave Dutchman arrived at the finish line with a group of six riders and won the final sprint, ahead of Samuele Battistella (Italy) and Stefan Bissegger (Switzerland).
Moments later, before the podium ceremony, the UCI's Jury decided to disqualify the rider for drafting and gave the victory to the Italian.
Bissegger took the silver medal and Thomas Pidcock (Great Britain) stepped on the third place of the final podium.
Thorwald told Dutch broadcaster NOS that the country's federation will not appeal against the jury's decision but the rider's management SEG Cycling would like to take legal action.
Dutchman Nils Eekhoff said afterwards "WORLD CHAMPION! That feeling... But it only lasted 15 minutes, I'm proud of my performance and the help from everybody around me working towards this race. Although I suffered serious pain from a dislocated shoulder, the crash early in the race never stopped me from fighting for my ultimate goal."
"To hear they DQ me, was/is a big shock to me. I understand the rules of cycling, but I truly think this decision is inappropriate. What means consistency to the UCI is a question I want to find out. But for now, I will never ever forget these best 15 minutes of my life... I'll be back!"
Great Britain rider Tom Pidcock said: “This isn’t how I wanted to win a medal and I feel really sorry for Eekhoff but rules are rules. Maybe his group wouldn’t have caught us if he hadn’t had been drafting, so that did affect the race. I’m still disappointed that I didn’t win but at least I got to enjoy the crowd on the podium, and I got a medal in my home World Championships. The fans were amazing today and this was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”
Italy rider Samuele Battistella said: “I didn’t understand what had happened at first, and when I was told, I can’t describe how it felt to become the world champion and to receive the jersey. I am very, very happy. I’m sorry for Eekhoff because he was the winner of the sprint but this is cycling and we have to abide by the commissaire’s decision. I am looking forward to becoming a professional rider now and this win will give me confidence.”