UCI open disciplinary proceedings against RadioShack for Sunday's 'jerseygate' affair

Bruyneel also to be hauled up before the cycling beak for Twitter comments

by Simon_MacMichael   July 27, 2010  

Lance Armstrong passes Livestrong TDF road marking © PhotoSport International.jpg

Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has announced that it plans to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Team RadioShack following the delay to the start of Sunday’s final stage of the Tour de France when its riders lined up wearing special black jerseys publicising Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong charity instead of their usual red and silver outfits.

With race commissaries telling the team’s riders that they would be forbidden from starting the stage if they did not change into their usual kits as required by UCI regulations – a stance that drew fire from team director Johan Bruyneel on Twitter – the stage was held up for some 20 minutes in Longjumeau before it headed off to Paris for the traditional finale on the Champs-Elysées.

It’s likely that Armstrong and his team mates suspected that the Livestrong jerseys, emblazoned with the number 28 on the back to signify the estimated 28 million people worldwide affected by cancer, would attract the attention of officials, especially given that regulation kit was readily on hand in the team car.

Equally, given that this was the seven-times-champion’s final participation in the race he once dominated, Armstrong, who according to local reports failed to sign on for his last ever Tour de France stage, would have known that he’d be receiving more attention than usual at the start from TV cameramen and press photographers, and so it proved as he seemed to take forever to change over his race numbers.

The resulting publicity for Livestrong, of course, on perhaps the biggest day on the cycling calendar with events screened live worldwide, was priceless.

In a statement, the governing body said that it “regrets that an initiative for a cause as worthy as the fight against cancer was not coordinated beforehand with the Commissaires and organisers of the event. This could have been done whilst remaining within the rules.”

The statement continued: “Team RadioShack’s incorrect behaviour led to a 20-minute delay to the start of the final stage, which could have disrupted the televised coverage of the race, placing the Commissaires under the obligation to impose a fine on each rider and the team managers.”

Following the stage, as they lined up to take the podium after winning the team classification, the RadioShack riders were back in the Livestrong jerseys, which on their left breast carried the flags of the nations of the team members, arranged as though they were medal ribbons.

This too, will be the subject of UCI investigation, with the governing body saying that the team had worn “an incorrect uniform on the podium for the protocol ceremony having been instructed not to.”

While Sunday’s stage, won by HTC-Columbia’s Mark Cavendish, was under way, team director Johan Bruyneel had told his followers on Twitter exactly what he thought of the decision not to allow the riders the race in the black jerseys, tweeting: “Ok people! Now it's official! To be a race commisar, you don't need brains but only know the rules! Their motto: "c'est le reglement!" [It’s the rule]

That comment, too, drew the attention of the UCI, which said that it “deplores the declarations made by Mr Johan Bruyneel who gravely offended all the Commissaires working in cycling. His remarks are utterly unacceptable, “ adding that he would be “be called upon to answer for his comments before the UCI Disciplinary Commission.”

The UCI added that “as the action of Team RadioShack was inspired by the desire to raise public awareness of the breadth of the global fight against cancer, the UCI has decided that any fines levied as a result of this matter would be donated to the Ligue suisse contre le cancer,” the Swiss cancer charity.

12 user comments

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Reports I read on the day said that "The Shack" signed in wearing the Red & Grey kit, and changed after that.

I can't help feeling that they went out of their way to provoke a confrontation on the road with race officials, tbh.

"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [428 posts]
27th July 2010 - 14:13


It's a Jersey, of a relatively respectable design advertising a cancer charity...

It's not as if they were all wearing jerseys emblazoned with 'Canc**** Bunny' or 'Chaingate - the scandal 2010'

posted by Fishy [55 posts]
27th July 2010 - 14:40


radioshack did it in the most arrogant way possible, and bruyneel acted like a prize tit when the comissaire stopped them, as he knew perfectly well he would. business as usual over there then Thinking

purplecup's picture

posted by purplecup [233 posts]
27th July 2010 - 14:49


All of which is proof to the rest of the world that Armstrong is NOT bigger than the sport. The stage should have gone on without them - why wait twenty minutes? Armstrong is arrogant, and Bruyneel is rude. Regardless of what was written on the shirts this is all about LA giving the UCI the finger. Well, I hope they finger him back over the next few months in a place he'll never forget.

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
27th July 2010 - 15:46


It was a PR stunt that went wrong - they'd have got more and better coverage if they'd had the jerseys on throughout the stage. They (and to be fair, chunks of the online community) are trying hard to make out that "hey, they actually meant for that to happen, honest!" but that's just making the best of a bad job.

You know how cats fall off things and then wash their paws while pulling a 'that was deliberate btw' face? Yeah, like that... Big Grin

Chuffy's picture

posted by Chuffy [205 posts]
27th July 2010 - 16:17


rolf aldags quote following renshaws explusion - 'These are just old guys making bad a decision and you can quote me on that' springs to mind

the UCI should concentrate on the issues in the sport not the sideshows

posted by fiftyacorn [91 posts]
27th July 2010 - 19:07


What a shame this has even become a story.

Lance should have known better and once the jerseys were changed back the Tour should have let it go.

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1347 posts]
28th July 2010 - 11:51


jimmythecuckoo wrote:
Lance should have known better and once the jerseys were changed back the Tour should have let it go.

I'm sure if they stayed changed back the UCI would have taken a different line on it. But Armstrong heightened his arrogance by changing the team back in to the 'prohibited' strip for the podium. They'd been warned...

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
28th July 2010 - 12:22


They should have started the race and let RS have an impromptu team time trial to catch up.

posted by kitkat [280 posts]
28th July 2010 - 13:17


Remember Mario Cipollini's various outlandish costumes, including dressing as a Roman Emperor? He just used to pay the fine and ride in fancy dress- and the only cause he had to promote was himself (though you had to like him for it anyway).I don't see why the organizers needed to make such an issue of it this time.

Obviously no rider was on drugs this tour Confused so they had to think of something to make a fuss about.

posted by wild man [293 posts]
28th July 2010 - 15:24


Someone's selling the Cipollini Caesar shirt on eBay... I'm really tempted but the missus would kill me.

Scroll down for the full story behind it [CORRECTION - it had the full story first time I looked, now it doesn't]


Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [9378 posts]
28th July 2010 - 15:30


Remember Mario Cipollini's various outlandish costumes, including dressing as a Roman Emperor? He just used to pay the fine and ride in fancy dress

it was funny when he did it though

purplecup's picture

posted by purplecup [233 posts]
28th July 2010 - 15:39