Your Friday Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

July 14, 2017

In today’s Daily News: Bardet takes win atop Peyragudes, Aru takes maillot jaune from Froome; Cromwell continues Canyon-SRAM success in Thüringen with Stage 1 victory; Edmondson first leader in BeNe Ladies Tour after winning prologue; French favoritism? Uran, Bennett docked 20 seconds on GC for illegal feed; Bardet not penalized for same offense; Dan Martin moves into fifth overall at Tour de France; 22 teams announced for Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta; Video: GoPro’s Tour de France Stage 12 highlights.

French favoritism? Uran, Bennett docked 20 seconds on GC for illegal feed; Bardet not penalized for same offense

by Neal Rogers

Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) was handed a 20-second penalty for taking a water bottle from a Cannondale employee with 5km to go on Stage 12 of the Tour de France. The penalty moved him from 35 seconds back of Fabio Aru to 55 seconds, though he maintains his fourth-place position on the general classification. Kiwi George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), who finished just behind Chris Froome on the stage, was also handed a 20-second penalty, and sits ninth on GC, at 4:24.

UCI rules state that no feeding is allowed within the final 20 kilometres of most road stages, while that distance is adjusted to 10km for high-mountain stages.

Video of Romain Bardet also taking a bottle from a spectator at 6.4km to go — the same fans that handed a bottle to Bennett — apparently did not reach the race jury, as the Frenchman was not penalized. The UCI would not comment on the decision, or lack thereof.

Cannondale team manager Jonathan Vaughters was vocal about the disparity on Twitter, writing “Rigo took bottle from spectator within final 10k. We accept penalty. However, Bardet did exactly the same-On video-He needs same penalty.”

The disparity in penalties added to speculation that French riders have received preferential treatment by UCI commissaires at this Tour. On Stage 4, world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was ejected from the race for an “irregular sprint” that resulted in Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) on the ground and out of the race, while stage winner Arnaud Démare (FDJ) had committed an equally irregular sprint just in front of Sagan. And on Stage 10, French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) took his hand off the handlebar to swipe at Jack Bauer (Quick-Step Floors) in the run-in to Bergerac, yet was only penalized with a one-minute added to his GC time — a meaningless penalty for a sprinter focused on stage wins.