Race leader Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) during stage 3 of the Tour de la Provence, before the bike change that led to his disqualification.

Filippo Ganna is DQed from Tour de la Provence for an illegal bike change

It's been an up-and-down week for the Ineos Grenadiers in Provence.

by Kit Nicholson

photography by Cor Vos

The Tour de la Provence came to an unfortunate end for early race-leader Filippo Ganna after the final stage. The Italian started the day in the leader’s jersey and ended it with a ‘DSQ’ after his name.

Ganna wasn’t expected to keep the race lead after stage 3’s summit finish on the Montagne de Lure, but still, he managed to finish just outside the top 10 about 90 seconds after stage winner Nairo Quintana (Arkéa Samsic). However, his admirable GC result was expunged with a post-race disqualification.

It seems that the UCI officials took issue with a mid-stage bike swap, from a disc brake-equipped frame to a lighter rim brake version which would be lighter on the climb. Obviously, bike changes are allowed during a race, but the race officials deemed Ganna’s switch as ‘predetermined’ which is not allowed.

“Mechanical assistance at fixed locations on the course is limited to wheel changes only except for races on a circuit where bike changes can be made in the authorized zones.” 

UCI regulation

The time trial world champion got the Tour de la Provence underway with victory in the prologue, and he kept the race lead through stage 1’s bunch sprint, which was won by teammate Elia Viviani.

The Ineos Grenadiers had to take the start of stage 2 without pre-race favourite Richard Carapaz, who was forced out by a COVID-19 positive, but Ganna was still very much in the race, taking an impressive third place in the uphill sprint. The Italian started the final stage with just two seconds over Julian Alaphilippe and 32 over Quintana, but he was on course for a top-10 GC result. Without the disqualification, he would have achieved that, but it wasn’t to be.

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