Advertisement

Sign up for our newsletter

Advertisement

Watch: AG2R La Mondiale withdraw two riders from Vuelta a Espana for holding onto team car

Joe Robinson
5 Sep 2017

AG2R La Mondiale withdraw Nico Denz and Alexandre Geniez from Vuelta for holding onto team car

Stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espana to Alto Hoya de la Mora in the Sierra Nevada mountains was a mighty one. Despite only being 129.4km long, the finish crested at 2510 metres above sea level after non stop climbing for almost 33km. 

The stage was so tough that it saw the gruppetto lose 30 minutes in this short distance with over half of the race finishing more than 20 minutes adrift. However whilst most endured the gruelling day, it has come to light that some used adverse means. 

This morning, AG2R La Mondiale withdrew Nico Denz and Alexandre Geniez from the Vuelta a Espana for holding onto a team car on the summit finish in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Both were sent home before the start of today's 40.2km time trial to Logrono. 

Evidence of both Denz and Geniez came to light via a video posted by Scott O'Raw. The video clearly shows both riders holding onto their team car for an extended period. Subsequently, calls came from twitter for both riders to be relegated. 

With Geniez and Denz having left the race, AG2R La Mondiale only have five riders remaining for the rest of the race.

With Domenico Pozzovivo withdrawing and Romain Bardet losing considerable time in the mountains, the French WorldTour team will be forced into hunting for stage wins in the final week of racing. Geniez will prove a miss for the team having been a constant fixture in the breakaways. 

In a press release, AG2R La Mondiale have apologised for the behaviour of their riders.

'The AG2R La Mondiale team sincerely apologies to the organisers and the public for the unsportsmanlike behaviour of our riders, which is contrary to our values and our ethics.'