The Vuelta a España peloton organized a brief protest at the beginning of stage 11 in Villaviciosa, disagreeing with a change in the time difference rule that the competition commissioners had introduced at the end of stage 10.
The move, which ended the time of Richard Karapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) in the red shirt, saw the Ecuadorian lose three seconds to stage winner Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and a group of seven other competitors, including Dan Martin (Israel Start Up Nation ).
The UCI regulations stipulate that at intervals “which are expected to end in a bunch of sprints”, time intervals are counted if there is an interval of three seconds or more between groups. Stage 10, which ended with a 1.5 km climb of 5.9%, was subject to this rule, although the rule was later changed to the usual one-second difference.
Roglic and Karapaz, thanks to the split and the ten-second bonus for winning the stage as a whole, are tied in time as a whole. But Roglic, with better places in the previous stages – two-stage victories – eventually won the prize, which he lost to Karapas in Stage 7.
But overnight, there was a growing sense among contestants that the pre-race regulations governing time gaps had been changed by commissioners, which he said provoked a protest.
The riders stopped briefly at fictitious leaving in the small town of Villaviciosa, with Chris Froome (Ineos Grenadiers), who sees what seems like a tough and frank discussion – from a distance – with the competition management, including director Javier Guillen. Others gathered around the Briton, with Movistar and Jumbo-Visma also discussing the issue.
Luis Angel Mate (Kofidis) briefly walked away in front of the package, but stopped a little further when he realized that the race was not moving, then returned to find out what was happening.
In an interview before stage c Eurosport, EF Pro Cycling climber Michael Woods confirmed that there was a general dissatisfaction with what constitutes a recognized time difference between riders when the bunch broke – as happened in stage 10 – in the final.
“It was a mistake on the part of the UCI commissioners,” he said. “Initially, they said there would be a three-second difference at the start of the race, as opposed to a one-second difference.”
“Watching the final [of stage 10] it was supposed to be a second pass, but they said they changed their minds at the beginning and the end. “
“I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t think you can change the rules on a whim, because it changes the way we would compete. Obviously Hugh Carty [Woods’ teammate, who lost 10 seconds] he would be more aggressive, entering the final, trying to climb further into position, only not to have to make up for these time gaps. “
“[EF sprinter] Magnus Court would make it harder to make sure he filled in the gaps. If you change the rules this way, you will change the way you compete and it is a bad decision on their part. “
“But this is where we are right now, we talked to the CPA in terms of trying to protest, and I think everyone is on board for that, even Jumbo-Visma, who will not take advantage of this decision. [if the decision was reversed]. “
Woods also pointed out Eurosport that up to this point in the Vuelta, gaps of less than a handful of seconds were paramount and could even complete the end result. “It’s a very tough battle for GC,” he mused. “Three seconds, ten seconds, that will certainly make a difference.
During stage 11, a Spanish television operator RTVE announced that EF had lodged a formal complaint after stage 10 regarding the change in the rules.
After a ten-minute delay, the peloton moved away, with Froome continuing to talk to Guillaume as the peloton headed through the three-kilometer neutralized section, with the Briton clearly hearing that “they changed the rule after the race.”
Froome teammate Gerent Thomas took to Twitter to applaud the rider’s actions: “It’s great to see the peloton stick in the Vuelta. Well, apart from the usual suspects,” he wrote on Twitter.
“My question is that professional cycling is nothing without riders. And yet all big decisions are made by suits and we are the last ones we know. The main reason we have no opinion is that we never behave like a peloton together. . “
My question is that professional cycling is nothing without riders. And yet all big decisions are made in costumes and we are the last ones we know. The main reason we don’t have an opinion is that we never behave like a peloton. October 31, 2020