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by Mark Zalewski
March 23, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Strength in numbers: Quick-Step goes 1-2 from breakaway at Dwars Door Vlaanderen; Lotta Lepistö wins Dwars door Vlaanderen; Valverde wins in Catalunya, Van Garderen into lead; Movistar team responds to Catalunya TTT relegation; Team Wiggins left out of Tour de Yorkshire; Lars Boom ‘In Astana I lacked the necessary support’; Reijnen comes away with a few stitches after crashing into ditch at Dwars door Vlaanderen; British amateur cyclist suspended two years for doping positive; Cylance men’s team to race entirely on disc brakes; Trofeo Alfredo Binda highlights; Kenny Belaey rides the UCI HQ; Video: Flanders Classics 2016 compilation.
The Movistar team issued a statement in response to the relegation of its riders due to an incident in the team time trial stage of the Volta a Catalunya.
“After the events that happened following the team time trial of the Volta a Catalunya, with a one-minute penalty being eventually imposed over the eight riders that claimed victory on the stage yesterday, the Movistar Team wants to express its complete disagreement towards the sanction received.”
Initially, varying time penalties were handed down to riders on the team for pushing each other in the TTT. However, UCI rules state that in this case each rider on the team should be given a one minute penalty. Ultimately the team went from first to third on the stage, giving BMC the win. Subsequently, the race leader’s jersey went from J.J. Rojas to Alejandro Valverde before ultimately ending up with BMC’s Ben Hermans.
“It’s a penalty due to an infringement which we consider absolutely non-existent. The rider performing the action does not “push” his team-mates, but touches the back of them with his right hand to warn them that they must take his position into the team row, a fact that doesn’t influence the race’s outcome at all.
“We deeply regret that a sporting event sees its results distorted by the application of a rule which punishes pushing between team-mates, something which, as shown by the images, was not the case yesterday. We consider this sets a dangerous precedent for the future, since any touch between riders from now on will have to be punished.