The Vuelta a España team held a brief protest at the start of the 11th leg in Villaviciosa, disagreeing with the change of the time gap rule that race commissioners had made at the end of leg 10.
The move ended Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) in red, seeing the Ecuadorian lose three seconds to the race winner Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and another group of seven riders, including Dan Martin (Israel Start Country).
UCI regulations state that, on ‘expected to end in sprints’ segments, time distances are counted if there is a group gap of three seconds or more. Stage 10, which ends at 1.5 km, climbing 5.9%, follows this rule, although the rule was later changed to the usual one-second distance.
Roglič and Carapaz, thanks to the split and the ten-second reward for the overall victory on the stage, they drew on time overall. But Roglič, in a better position in the previous stages – two leg wins – was finally awarded the lead where he lost to Carapaz in the 7th leg.
But overnight, the racers had a feeling aroused among the racers that the pre-race regulations for the time interval were changed by the committees, supposedly triggering the race. protest.
The riders stopped for a while fictitious departure in the small town of Villaviciosa, with Chris Froome (Ineos Grenadiers) seen moving toward firm and frank discussion – at a distance – with race management, including race director Javier Guillén. Others have gathered around the Briton, with Movistar and Jumbo-Visma also discussing the matter.
Luis Ángel Maté (Cofidis) quickly rushes in front of the crowd, but stops a little further when he realizes that the race is not moving, then turns to find out what is going on.
In a pre-stage interview with Eurosport, EF Pro Cycling climber Michael Woods confirms that there is a general dissatisfaction about what constitutes the recognized time gap between riders when the team breaks – as happened in leg 10 – when it comes to finish. .
“It was a mistake on the part of the UCI trustees,” he said. “They initially said at the start of the race there would be a three-second gap as opposed to a one-second gap.”
“Looking at the end [of stage 10] It should have been only a second but they said it in the first place, and by the end they changed their minds. “
“I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t think you can change the rules to your liking, because that changes the way we raced. Obviously Hugh Carthy. [Woods’ teammate, who lost 10 seconds] will be more aggressive at the finish line, trying to go further in the position so that you don’t have to make up for those times. “
“[EF sprinter] Magnus Cort will have to work harder to make sure he closes the gap. If you change the rules like that, you change the way you race and that’s a bad decision on their part. “
“But that’s where we are right now, we talked to the CPA about trying to put in a protest and I think everyone on the board about that, even Jumbo-Visma, who will not benefit from this ruling [if the decision was reversed]. “
Woods points out Eurosport that so far in Vuelta, gaps as small as a few seconds are of utmost importance and may even lead to the end result. “It’s a very tight GC battle,” he reflected. “Three seconds, ten seconds, that will definitely be a difference maker.
In stage 11, the Spanish broadcaster RTVE Report that EF made a formal complaint after phase 10 about a change in the rules.
After about ten minutes of delay, the train moving, Froome continued to talk to Guillén as the train passed through the three-kilometer neutral section, and the British heard clearly that “they had changed the rules after the race. “
Froome’s teammate Geraint Thomas took to Twitter to celebrate the racer’s action: “It’s nice to see the bullets stick together at Vuelta. Well, beyond the usual suspects,” he wrote on Twitter.
“My point is, professional cycling is nothing without riders. However, all the important decisions are made by the clothes and we are the last to know.”
My opinion is, professional cycling is nothing without riders. However, all big decisions are made by the clothes and we are the last to know. The main reason we don’t have a say is because we never stick together as a companion. October 31, 2020