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

Oh, and Lance Armstrong naturellement

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. 

Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.

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