Tour of Utah: Polemics over motorpacing spill over from California with Piccoli’s penalty

The UCI commissaires at the Tour of Utah denied the protest Elevate-KHS filed over the 20-second time penalty given to James Piccoli for motorpacing behind his team car to regain the race caravan after suffering a puncture inside 10km to go.

Piccoli, who was in yellow at the time, lost the jersey to Lawson Craddock (EF Education First) by six seconds on the stage and sat second overall until the commissaires added a 20-second penalty, knocking him to 13th at 26 seconds back.

After puncturing, Piccoli motorpaced behind the Elevate-KHS vehicle to the back of the caravan, where team manager Paul Abram dropped him off to work his way back to the field. Piccoli regained the field before the finish, but he was unable to cover a late attack from Craddock.

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Elevate-KHS protested the penalty, saying their actions to get Piccoli back to the caravan were not out of the ordinary or extreme and not deserving of a penalty.

Kurt Sauer, president of the Commissaire Panel, told Abrams the panel denied the protest because Piccoli clearly violated the rules.

“The rule is pretty clear about pacing, and the video you sent me actually reinforced even stronger with the panel that the riders were in fact pacing very closely,” Sauer told Abrams during a meeting in the team parking lot before the start of stage 2 in Brigham City.

Looking for consistency

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