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BMC awarded TTT victory after Movistar are (eventually) penalised

Josh Cunningham
22 Mar 2017

Movistar receive time penalties for pushing in the TTT at the Volta a Catalunya, elevating BMC to stage victory

BMC Racing's Ben Hermans goes into today's stage three of the Volta a Catalunya as the overall leader; a position he finds himself in after his BMC team were elevated to stage two TTT winners after the entire Movistar team were given one-minute time penalties. 

The punishment comes as a result of video footage showing multiple instances of Movistar rider Jose Joaquin Rojas pushing teammates back into the pace line after they had done a turn on the front. 

Movistar won the stage over BMC by two seconds, but after the footage emerged (and BMC riders Tejay Van Garderen and Rohan Dennis had taken to social media to vent their protest), the rider in question, who had taken the race lead, was given a three-minute time penalty, meaning Alejandro Valverde subsequently inherited it from him. 

Not allowed!!!

A post shared by Tejay van Garderen (@tejay_van) on

However, discrepancies between the English and French translation of the UCI rulebook when dealing with a situation in which a teammate pushes another teammate in a team time trial meant that the UCI's decision to only punish one rider came under fire. 

'1 minute penalty in stage classification for each rider in the team + 200 (Swiss Franc fine) per rider involved,' is what the English reads, but the word for 'each' in the French version ('chaque') was, says the UCI, interpreted differently, meaning that only Rojas was punished. 

Overnight the UCI amended its decision though, and as a result the whole Movistar team were docked 1 minute, putting them third on the stage, 58 seconds back on BMC, who retrospectively won the stage, and placed Ben Hermans in the race lead. 

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