UCI lifts Uran's time penalty

Team Sunweb rider Warren Barguil of France celebrates after winning the 13th stage yesterday.
Team Sunweb rider Warren Barguil of France celebrates after winning the 13th stage yesterday.PHOTO: REUTERS

SAINT-GIRONS (France) • Colombia's Rigoberto Uran was given a boost ahead of yesterday's Tour de France 13th stage start in Saint Girons as his 20-second time penalty was overturned.

The Cannondale team leader was among three riders penalised on Thursday for taking a water bottle outside the permitted feed zone.

His reprieve left him just 35 seconds off race leader Fabio Aru in fourth overall before yesterday's stage in one of the tightest yellow-jersey battles in years.

New Zealand's George Bennett and Belgian Serge Pauwels also had their penalties lifted.

The race commission decided to lift the sanction because teams had been unable to pass food and water to their riders in the allowed feed zone due to exceptional circumstances caused by Chris Froome and Aru having gone off the road at a vital juncture on a rapid descent.

The feed zone ends 10km from the finish, after which teams are no longer permitted to pass either food or water to the riders.

"In light of the inability of teams to resupply their riders before the last climb... due to specific circumstances of the race which had blocked vehicles, the UCI (International Cycling Union) commissaires panel has decided to annul the penalties imposed," a UCI statement said.

Yesterday's 101km 13th stage was won by Team Sunweb's Warren Barguil, ahead of Movistar's Nairo Quintana and Trek-Segafredo's Alberto Contador. Aru retained the overall leader's yellow jersey as he finished just behind Froome.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2017, with the headline 'UCI lifts Uran's time penalty'. Print Edition | Subscribe