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Cannondale-Drapac rider now back to within 35 seconds of race leader Fabio Aru; George Bennett's sanction reversed too...

​Rigoberto Uran of Cannondale-Drapac is back to within 35 seconds of overall leader Fabio Aru after the race jury overturned a 20-second time penalty it had handed him after yesterday’s Stage 12.

The Colombian rider finished second to AG2R-La Mondiale’s Romain Bardet, but was one of three riders handed a 20-second penalty for taking an illegal drink inside the final 20 kilometres of the stage, as was LottoNL-Jumbo’s George Bennett, who is ninth overall, 4 minutes 4 seconds off the lead.

But Bardet, runner-up to Team Sky’s Chris Froome last year and now third overall, 25 seconds behind Aru, was not sanctioned despite being spotted taking bottle from the same spectators at the roadside as Bennett did.

Uran was handed a bottle by someone who turned out to be an employee of Cannondale France, acting on his own initiative, according to Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Cannondale-Drapac’s management company, Slipstream Sports.

Vaughters also called for greater consistency from the UCI race jury and questioned whether its president, Philippe Marien, was the correct person to lead it following a number of accusations of inconsistent application of the rules during this year’s race.

Writing on Twitter this morning, Vaughters said: “Incredible news!!! @UCI_cycling has reversed decision!!! No penalty for Rigo!!!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!”

He added: “I have to be happy. But I never asked for what they did. We accepted the penalty.”

Some social media users wondered whether Bardet not being sanctioned yesterday might be some kind of Gallic conspiracy as the country continues to wait for its first Tour de France winner since Bernard Hinault in 1985.

They will no doubt have noted that by absolving Uran and Bennett, the race jury has ensured they have now been treated the same way as Bardet – while avoiding imposing a 20-second penalty on the AG2R-La Mondiale rider that UCI regulations would appear to require.

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.

17 comments

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Yorkshire wallet [1437 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

Sorry for my ignorance but what is this sort of rule supposed to do?

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rapid4 [59 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

They knew the rules, surely taking that drink (and therefore breaking the rule) gave them a physical edge over all the othe riders who didn't break the rule? 

UCI have made some poor decisions this tour. 

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Simontuck [178 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

“I have to be happy. But I never asked for what they did. We accepted the penalty.”

 

Really, he was whining on twitter earlier this morning that UCI hadn't answered his emails about the incident and weren't considering his appeal. Should have fined the lot of them though. 'spectators' offering drinks to riders, should all be treated with suspicion anyway. Flagrant flouting of the rules to gain an edge mustn't be allowed, unless it's the result of an unwritten rule, obviously.

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BarryBianchi [335 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

I love these "rules" - they're so "French".

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don simon [1314 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

What was in Rigo's bottle?

Within 100m of collecting it, taking a toot, he then ejected both bottle to lighten the bike for the final 5km sprint.

At least Bennet took a good old swig and cooled himself down mid climb.

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cjwebb [40 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

It's pretty simple. France media/fans would have erupted had Bardet received the deserved penalty. So to avoid wailing in the streets, they just overturned the others' penalties.

Surely the riders are briefed on the rules, and even when "offered" should just ride on by?!?

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mattydubster [76 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

Completely agree.  It's a stupid rule tbh but rules are rules.  Shouldn't have been reversed and Bardet should have been penalised also - it's just unfair to all the other riders who know the rules and adhered to them.

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Jackson [373 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Good! If there's a grey area, such as exactly who got bottles, where and when, and who from, then leave it as it is. Like what they should have done with Sagan. The race started to sell newspapers and they would do well to remember it's a spectator sport.

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check12 [134 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

 Bent as a nine euro note, totally bottled (get it?!?!?) giving bardet a 20" penalty. 

Ard they going to reverse the penalty they gave to froome and Porte those years ago too. 

Pffff

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kil0ran [492 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

So very, very French. Delighted to see the sheer brazeness and desperation to help the home riders. A highly pragmatic Gallic shrug to avoid a visit to Madame Guillotine on Bastille day, chapeau

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rliu [114 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

What a complete joke these UCI rules, if I was Bora Hansgrohe I'd have another crack at appealing Sagan's disqualification at this rate.

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Grahamd [670 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

I think the UCI are trying to prise the corrupt crown from FIFA.

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ficklewhippet [90 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Aye!
Short odds on a Bardet win today I would think!

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Simon E [3098 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

Sorry for my ignorance but what is this sort of rule supposed to do?

There are parts of the stage when you cannot take a feed / bottle. This is why Porte & Froome got into trouble on Alpe D'Huez when Porte went back to the car for a gel. I've lifted the following from elsewhere and hoping that it is accurate:

Quote:

UCI rule 2.3.027 states, “Feeding is prohibited on climbs, descents and during the first 50 and last 20 km.” On Thursday, the jury even allowed riders to take feeds up to the final 10 kilometers. Stevo Cummings even had a ‘sticky bottle’ at 14.4km (very quick swig from the bidon itself)

In fact, there was a feed zone with 12.5km to go in the 214.5km stage.

The distances quoted in the rules can be changed (e.g. very hot weather) but I believe this has to be announced before the start of the stage.

The Cannondale employee handing up the bottle in the prohibited area was from marketing dept and not connected with or sanctioned by the team, according to Vaughters, complaining about the commissaires in this CN article.

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Chris Hayes [164 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

Not a grey area at all. It's inconsistent application of the rules: two non-French riders sanctioned for drinking.  The world points out that a French yellow-jersey contender also took a drink.  After some grumbling it's decided that they can't give Bardet a 20 second penalty, so they revoke those of Bennett and Uran.  Chapeau Commissaires: another great decision that undermines your race when the world is watching. 

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Leeroy_Silk [158 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

In a fashion this is what makes the tour what it is, what can be more Gaelic than a little flexing of the rules?  1 Rules aren't necessarily being broken outright, but a little flexibility, blind eyes and forgetfulness help keep interest levels and if suits the home riders then even better.

Am I correct in the thinking the commissaires are ASO sanctioned and not UCI?

 

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kitsunegari [291 posts] 3 months ago
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Could you imagine if the tour came down to Bardet losing by 20 seconds after they'd given him a penalty? That would never do so rather than penalise all it was easier to drop the existing penalties. So very, very French.

Yorkshire wallet wrote:

Sorry for my ignorance but what is this sort of rule supposed to do?

It's intended to remove clutter/traffic from critical parts of the race, although one could well argue there are several where taking on drinks/food is allowed that are critical also. Ensures the team cars aren't in the mix cluttering up, and prevents sticky bottle.