Riders on the Tour de France have been reminded that they are not allowed to use mobile phones on the race – after Katusha’s Luca Paolini was snapped on Saturday’s Stage 8 with one in his hand.
Photographer Graham Watson spotted the device in the Italian’s hand as he passed him on his photo moto, and tweeted this picture.
This wouldn't be Luca Paolini texting from his iPhone in today's stage, would it - at about 60-kph..! http://t.co/Spbcz5ZniL
— Graham Watson (@grahamwatson10) July 12, 2014
Paolini took to Twitter after the stage to explain he wasn’t writing a text message or email but had forgotten he had the phone in his pocket and had taken it out to switch it off before passing it to the team car.
He also apologised for breaking the rules and apologised to the race jury for letting him off with a warning – although he was back in their sights yesterday as they fined him 50 Swiss Francs for an infraction according to the official race communication from Stage 9.
Race organisers ASO issued a reminder to all teams that "the use of mobile phones by riders during the race is not allowed under article 9 of the race rules and article 2.2.024 of the UCI’s regulations".
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.