UCI and ASO have first row of Tour 2009… over a cup of coffee…

Oh, and Lance Armstrong naturellement

by Tony Farrelly   July 6, 2009  

Tour de France logo

A cup of coffee allegedly got Astana in trouble at the Tour and lead to the first (probably of many) spats between the Tour organisers ASO and cycling's world governing body, the UCI.

Trouble brewed (sorry) when Astana were late signing on apparently because Lance Armstrong was sharing a cup of coffe with his good buddy the movie star, Ben Stiller – they were in Dodgeball together.

As a result the Tour de France jury summoned Astana for arriving late for the pre-stage registration.

UCI rules state that a rider must register for a stage at least 20 minutes before the start or faces a fine of 100 Swiss Francs ($92).

Tour de France competitions director Jean-Francois Pescheux was not a happy man and called for tougher sanctions to be imposed.

"Today, and as usual, the Astana team arrived late at the pre-stage registration, in contempt of the crowd, who has once again not seen Lance Armstrong," Pescheux told Reuters before the start of the third stage from Marseille to La Grande Motte.

"They don't care about the fine. We are going to ask the UCI to be tougher."

UCI chief Pat McQuaid responded: “"I am surprised Jean-Francois Pescheux is asking for it now, why he did not do it before since he is part of the world commission that set the rules."

All friends together then. Just like old times really.