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Tour de France champ told he needs to show more lanterne rouge than maillot jaune

As reported yesterday, the UCI has told the cycling world to be nice to Alberto Contador ahead of his defence of his Tour de France title next month, which comes before his appearance at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. That request came too late, however, to prevent the Saxo Bank-SunGard rider being pulled over by les flics earlier this week as he undertook a recce of the descent of the Galibier, which features in this year’s race.

The Spaniard’s offence? Well, with the road snaking through tunnels as it heads downwards off the pass, the French police stopped Contador to tell him that he needed to make himself visible to other road users, according to L’Equipe.

That put an end to the training ride, with Contador clambering into the team car to continue his journey down the mountain. We’re sure that Specialized, who supply the Danish ProTeam’s bikes, will be able to dig out a suitable set of lights for him from their range.
 

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.

8 comments

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 5 years ago
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Now I wonder if they'd have done the same to Thomas Voeckler? Bertie could be in for a torrid time from the French press and public in July.

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handlebarcam [650 posts] 5 years ago
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Perhaps he'll get the same treatment Robert Millar got in the '88 Tour: sent off course by gendarme, causing him to lose the stage. I do hope so.

But, cheat or not (you won't be surprised to hear that I favour the former), he is still a cyclist, and expecting riders to have lights on the off-chance they might go through a tunnel is ridiculous. Unlit tunnels should be approached with caution by motorists, then they'll see any cyclists thanks to their own headlights. And in this case, I assume there was an estate car not far behind 'Bert, with its lights on, and the shiny head of Mr. 60% behind the wheel.

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JulesW [36 posts] 5 years ago
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Perhaps he will be pulled over for speed traps, not having a working bell or insufficient tread on tyres too.

La Marmotte will be interesting if everyone has to carry lights with them.

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skippy [408 posts] 5 years ago
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Descending the Gallibier ! i would have thought they would have booked him for speeding ! Would it have been raining he could have been done for water skiing in a public place !

Descended from the Gallibier towards Sestriere during the Monsoon type rains with centimetres of rain on the road as the traffic fought it's way off the mountain after the racers had passed ! Not an experience i would wish to repeat .

Go to www.parrabuddy.blogspot.com & @skippydetour to help PARA Athletes and win some "Goodies" from Continental Tyres !

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culliep [4 posts] 5 years ago
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Typicaly french with 1 set of rules for them and a different set for everyone else. I watched le mans 24 audi a german car with english drivers went outside the white line with 2 wheels and got punished but when peogeut went out with 4 wheels not even an investigation. Its appalling

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 5 years ago
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culliep wrote:

Typicaly french with 1 set of rules for them and a different set for everyone else. I watched le mans 24 audi a german car with english drivers went outside the white line with 2 wheels and got punished but when peogeut went out with 4 wheels not even an investigation. Its appalling

It certainly is. Next thing you know, the home team in a World Cup Final will be awarded a goal after the ball hits the crossbar and clearly doesn't cross the line  3

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hairyairey [298 posts] 5 years ago
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On the Etape in 2006 the only advice for was to keep your sunglasses off for the tunnels between the Col D'Aubisque and the Col Du Solour. Mixed message?

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adastra [8 posts] 5 years ago
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I was lucky on the Tourmalet last year then? Mind you I was lucky enough to have a descending motorist who kindly stayed behind me..I think he was french too!