Deceuninck-QuickStep team manager Patrick Lefevere has criticized the UCI jury at the Tour of California after they overturned the results from stage 4, a move that removed the leader’s jersey from the shoulders of his rider Kasper Asgreen and gave it back to Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First).
The controversy centered around a number of incidents involving van Garderen. The American crashed inside the final 10 kilometres and was making his way back to the bunch when a second crash occurred in the peloton. Van Garderen was unable to make contact with the main peloton and finished almost a minute down on the stage winner and a group that contained Asgreen.
Van Garderen’s EF Education First team argued that the second crash hampered his chances of regaining contact with the race, and even though the fall took place outside of the three-kilometre rule point, the race jury decided in van Garderen’s favour. Asgreen had initially been announced as the race leader but after a period of confusion van Garderen emerged in the yellow jersey with his slender lead over Asgreen remaining at six seconds.
“I don’t understand. It’s about cycling, the UCI jury and how they are incompetent,” Lefevere told Cyclingnews after he had stayed up until the small hours in Belgium to watch the race.
“What we saw wasn’t normal. I’m at a complete loss. We have some people who have been given some responsibility and they can’t handle it.”
Incompetent UCI commissaries
Lefevere confirmed that he would appeal the decision and that it set a dangerous precedent for the sport because the race jury decided to extend the three-kilometre rule for van Garderen even though he was not part of the peloton when the second crash took place.
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