Your Saturday Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

July 15, 2017

In today’s Daily News Digest: A Frenchman on Bastille Day: Barguil fights his way to Stage 13 victory at Tour de France; Albrecht takes Stage 2 victory from breakaway at Thüringen; Barnes outsprints Vos to assume lead in BeNe Ladies Tour; UCI race jury reverses 20-second penalties on Uran, Bennett at Tour de France; Fuglsang abandons Tour de France two days after fracturing wrist, elbow; Sagan to return to Tour de Pologne for first time since winning overall in 2011; American teenage phenom Adrien Costa taking leave of absence from pro cycling; Video: GoPro’s Tour de France Stage 13 highlights; Video: Inside team meetings at the Tour de France.

UCI race jury reverses 20-second penalties on Uran, Bennett at Tour de France

by Neal Rogers

On Friday morning, prior to the start of Stage 13 of the Tour de France, the UCI race jury reversed its 20-second penalties on riders Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), George Bennett (Lotto NL-Jumbo), and Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale Drapac) for taking illegal feeds inside the final 10km, which is prohibited.

The UCI issued a statement explaining that delays in getting team cars to riders — caused when Chris Froome (Sky) and Fabio Aru (Astana) followed Mikel Nieve (Sky) off the road at the bottom of the descent off the Port de Balès with 15km remaining — led to the decision to change the ruling.

“In light of the inability of teams to resupply their riders before the last climb of stage 12 of the 2017 Tour de France due to specific circumstances of the race which had blocked vehicles, the UCI Commissaires Panel has decided to annul the penalties imposed,” the statement said.

The penalties were controversial because the same had not been applied to Frenchman Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale), who was seen on video taking a bottle on the Col de Peyresourde from the same group of spectators that also handed a bottle to Bennett — the latest in a string of inequitable rulings by the race jury that has seemed to favor French riders, including Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis). A UCI spokesman told journalists Thursday that the jury had not seen evidence that Bardet had taken an illegal feed. On Friday, it seemed that rather than penalize Bardet, there would be no penalties issued.

“I’m happy I’ve got the time back,” Bennett said Friday at the start. “It was bizarre I thought, but I think their hands were a bit tied because they had two options — they either penalised Bardet or they gave me my time back, and they gave me my time. I guess you could look at it from the outside and you could say that with Arnaud Démare cutting up Sagan and him moving out the way and then they kick him out of the race, and then Bouhanni punches someone in the head and they dock him a minute and he was already two hours behind, you could say that it might look [suspect].”