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UCI may hit Lopez with fine or disqualification for punching fan during Giro d'Italia

Governing body says lack of action sets a precedent

Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport reports that the UCI is reviewing Miguel Ángel López’s altercation with a fan at the Giro d’Italia on the grounds that the race jury’s decision not to impose a penalty sets a precedent.

Lopez was shown on television striking a spectator several times. The man had inadvertently knocked him off his bike after colliding with another fan while running alongside the Colombian.

According to UCI rules, hitting a spectator draws a 500 to 2,000 Swiss franc fine, a deduction of 10 to 100 points from the rider’s UCI rankings and elimination or disqualification from the race.

Lopez escaped punishment and Cycling News has previously reported that the Giro d'Italia judges were called to UCI headquarters to explain the decision.

Astana boss Giuseppe Martinelli initially suggested that Lopez should have 'punished' the fan even more.

"I think it's normal that he reacted as he did. He was on the way to winning the stage… I'm only sorry that he didn't give the spectator some more punishment, he deserved it for what he did."

Martinelli later said that Lopez’s actions were “wrong” but seemingly only on the basis that he’d wasted time.

"He should have jumped back on his bike because he could have still won the stage,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “Instead he started arguing with that guy and lost at least 30 seconds. That was a mistake.

"Despite his mistakes, it's clear something has to be done to better protect the riders. What? I don't know. But something got to be done."

Speaking after the stage, Lopez offered a qualified apology.

“I am sorry for my emotions, but in the rush of the race, especially, in the final of the queen stage it is hard to control it.

“It was a bad situation, but, anyway, I am very sad because of the bad security level of the riders during the race.

“It is a pity I lost my chances today because this incident happened, but, unfortunately, this kind of situations happen regular and this is not good. I’d like to see more respect to the riders, who are doing their best during a cycling race.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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antigee | 5 years ago
1 like

Fans and no barriers good 

Drunk fans running in the road bad need more police action

Throwing urine totally unacceptable

As to Lopez maybe a token gesture fine or maybe should be forced to sit and read an entire internets' worth of hatred of team sky at least until his head goes numb otherwise it would be a life sentence


Xena | 5 years ago

Response to the above post by exup.

I tell you why more fans dont get punched  . It’s because the skinny cyclists pick their fights carefully. If Mike Tyson was at the side of the road giving them grief they would do nothing.  

That rider should  not get a bonus . Are you kidding me . Let’s go round punching people and getting rewarded.  The reason Froom got urine thrown over him is because sky have  turned the sport into a shambles and are getting away with it . It wasn’t a nice thing to do but pretending your all about being clean when you lie ,hire staff all having strong connections to PED’s especially DR Leinders and the turn a rider like Froome who could not win his way out of a paper bag and had trouble even staying on his bike into a tour winner ! Most people with common sense can smell the BS a mile away .  Things like that happen because the powers that be care more about money and are happy to oblige the ones who make them the most money . Simple as that . 

Exup | 5 years ago

The UCI/organisers need to accept more responsibility for incidents like this. Or worse, such as the TDF incidents with urine thrown at Froome.

Fans should be present, but if they interfere, as per this Giro case, then the UCI need to take action and not leave it to the riders to react, when in an emotional state and then penalise them afterwards.

The UCI impose penalties on the riders, why do they not 'compensate' the riders too - Lopez could have been given a 2 minute bonus because of this incident - he may have lost the race because of these stupid fans.

I am surprised that more fans don't get punched. I agree with Giuseppe Martinelli.

Xena | 5 years ago
1 like

Fans at the side of the road is a must . It’s cycling tradition . Look how many races there are, Incidents like this are rare . Take away the people from the roads and you will take away the  cultural heritage  of cycling .  No barriers no stands , no tickets no fees . That’s the way it’s always been and should be . Do you want more measures of  “people-control “ in the orewellian world we are already  living in . F&£#  that .  

Linkan | 5 years ago

Having watched most stages of the race I would say the real problem is crowd control or lack there of. To the point where it was surprising there where few serious incidents (except some pushing, atempted sabotage and what not). Reacting with violence under any circumstance is wrong but very much understandable in this case. A DQ at this point would be going way too far. A fine would be resonable, but if so it should be issued to both the organizers and the cyclist. 

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