ONE Pro Cycling have donated their winnings from yesterday’s Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic and apologised for Hayden McCormick’s obscene gesture at the finish.
The New Zealander was beaten in a sprint to the line and then aimed a one-fingered gesture toward race winner Dan Fleeman as he crossed the line.
The race organisers want to draw a veil over the controversy and concentrate on Metaltek’s home win and another successful race, but have moved quickly to deal with the incident.
A statement from the race organisation read: “The gesture was not befitting of a professional rider and is considered ungentlemanly conduct.
“The management of ONE Pro Cycling have apologised profusely to the organisation, and onward to spectators for the incident, and as a gesture of their regret have insisted that any prize money won by the team at the race should be donated to a local charity of the organisation’s choice.”
Race Director Colin Clews added: “Anyone who has worked with ONE Pro Cycling as I have for many years, knows that they are a thoroughly professional team.
“What happened yesterday was totally out of character with how they operate and it is clear that they wish to disassociate themselves fully from the incident involving one of their riders in a heat of the moment race situation.
“The race organisation has accepted the team’s apologies and their gesture which will benefit the funds of The Mount Group Riding for the Disabled, the race’s adopted charity, by £1,365.
“The rider has been dealt with by the race commissaires in accordance with the international regulations, and the matter is now regarded as closed.”
ONE Pro Cycling were also quick to issue a statement after the race.
“On behalf of the team we would like to apologise to the race organisers, Dan Fleeman and the Metaltek-Kuota team and all cycling fans and supporters for any offence caused.
“This behaviour will not be tolerated and the matter is being dealt with very seriously.”