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  • Richo

    Simplistic, but the locals seem to get the rub of the green. Watch any sport, anywhere in the world and this is the truth. In football/s I can understand it, with thousands screaming at you, but cycling. Mmmm, it helps to be French at the Tour, Italian at the Giro and Spanish at the Vuelta (though that might be more tacks than rulings).

    • Maybe the memories of Marcel Kittel easing to victory over and over in the sprints is the first to spring to mind. Or perhaps it’s Richie Porte’s sickening crash on the descent of the Mont du Chat? Or Warren Barguil’s win in Foix, a Frenchman on Bastille Day for the first time since David Moncoutié in 2005.

    • Did it matter that the bottles weren’t from team members?

  • MattHurst

    A good review, it is incredibly frustrating as a fan but it must do some great of the riders heads in!

    • MattHurst

      Bloody auto correct

  • Patrick

    cycling is such a complex sport its not easy to write and enforce clear rules but certainly must be able to do better than this. consistency is always the first requirement.
    reminds me of a few years ago when porte took a gel from the car and gave it to froome who was bonking on the final climb. porte was duly penalised 20 seconds (for all he cared), froome was considered to have done nothing wrong as he just fed from a teammate ;) if you’re going to have unclear rules you could at least make use of the lack of clarity to provide justice!
    bias is not just based on the nationality of the jury…

    • DaveRides

      Actually, Froome was hit with the same penalty that time.

      But the rule is so whimsical and open to multiple interpretations that Sky could probably have challenged the Froome penalty and had it revoked if the GC battle was tighter.

      It’s not just the commissaires who are at fault, the rules they are trying to enforce are a big part of the problem. Nobody in a professionally run sport would recognise the feeding rule as being a proper rule, so it should be completely taken out of service until the purpose of the rule is properly considered and (if it’s considered to still be important) the text of the rule rewritten for clarity.

  • dllm

    All these non-senses hurt everyone. Winner’s heads can’t held high as their wins were somehow assisted unfairly by the judges. If I’m Kittle I couldn’t be absolutely proud of the green jersey cos he didn’t win the greatest.

  • DaveRides

    The Kittel/EBH photo finish is a bit clearer on the Tissot website. Timing officials made the correct call in the light of the UCI rules saying the win goes to the first rider, not the first rider provided they have [arbitrarily selected time gap].

  • DaveRides

    A bit of digging reveals that Philippe Marien (chief commissaire) is the cyclocross representative on the UCI Commissaires Commission. Maybe this explains why he is out of his depth, as the open and uncontrollable environment of a grand tour is massively different to the contained circuit of a cyclocross race.

    Questions need to be asked about why he is the chief commissaire at the Tour.

  • pedr09

    I’m still baffled, even after most people agree that the elbow raise was due to Cav’s brake hood, that the transgression Sagan is still saddled with is that of ‘not holding your line’. When Sagan is behind Bouhanni and wants to come around him to overtake, how can he not deviate from his line? Are you supposed to just follow the rider in front of you to the finish? The notion of ‘holding your line’ is for riders who are not behind other riders surely. If you want to discuss riders not holding their line, there can be no more perfect example then Demare cutting across Bouhanni’s front wheel. There’s your relegation or DSQ. The Sagan/Cav incident was unfortunate but I don’t think either was obviously at fault.

    • Me

      Terrible commissairing at the Tour. The decision to allow a feed inside/outside the 10/20km zone is made and communicated during or before the race not after the race.

  • Hayden

    It starts at the top, Brian Cookson has shown zero leadership and that is just cascaded from the top down. Go back a year when moto’s were causing mayhem, did we hear anything, did we see any leadership? Why should now be different….

    • velocite

      It would be interesting to hear what Cookson has to say about this issue. For all I know the UCI has improved significantly under his presidency, but in the absence more information to me it looks distinctly ordinary. It doesn’t appear to have enough in the way of diplomatic or strategic skills to assist its efforts to reform the world tour; its handling of the disc brake issue has been irrational; and now, applying its own rules to the biggest event of the year must be a huge item in its shop window, and its presentation at the very least is so very mediocre.

  • Bruce Kearns

    My take is that there is a much larger issue looming over us here. One that calls into question the need for so much subjective judging and ornate rule making. Why does the UCI not utilize the mini on-board cameras/data loggers/timing devices as used on race vehicles (including motorcycles) that can time down to the thousands of a second? Major tour winners could be properly tracked as the rider with the lowest elapsed time… period… no need for time bonuses or even timing “gaps”. Yes, this would cause issues for mass sprints, but aren’t we expecting the winners of the TdF or the Giro to truly be the “best” rider over the entire event instead the the team most able to take advantage of time bonuses and “group assigned” time? Cut the team’s sizes in half and use total elapsed time over the full event. Less expense, more teams and more equitable distribution of talent across those teams. As a huge safety bonus, feeding “on board video” to the event pool would cut out 3/4’s of the idiotic press motorcycles and cars weaving through, or God forbid stopping, within the peloton. And allow much better judging of events such as the poorly adjudicated Sagan/Cav clash.

  • Paul Jakma

    I’ve no idea about Philippe Marien personally, but the french-speaking Belgians wouldn’t be completely unsympathetic to the French. (Just as the Dutch and Vlaams can have an affinity for each other sometimes).

  • IdeaStormer

    Really? Its been this way for decades! Guess you have just started watching le Tour. All complaints have fallen on deaf ears and no new Pres. has changed jack squat. Racing rules and how should I put it, ethics rules all are variable depending on I would guess who has the vested interest in the UCI, lost count on those.

    What ever happened to that other league, nope got ground down to a halt and those teams/sponsors/directors, presona’s non grata.

    Money, or as the saying goes, “Show me the MONEY!”, that’s where the rules are even or lopsided.

  • Kyle

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/92f5bc3ae27109cb574551051b66fb9355469e79a224612b05d7d96f3ccef9e8.jpg Here’s the stage 7 photo finish hi-res. You tell me who wins. Kittel on the bottom, Boassen-Hagen on the top. I don’t see how they gave Kittel that one pixel victory. It’s hard to justify via the evidence.


  • Vonn Vonn-s

    Excluding the Slovak orangutan, it would be OK.

  • Ronan Fox

    Amazing how often pro riders profess to having no clue as to the rules of the sport after they fall foul of them. It’s your job guys. The least you might do is read the term and conditions, just like we all have to do for our jobs.


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