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Points deduction could see Viviani abandon Giro d'Italia early

Joe Robinson
14 May 2019

Italian champion's sprint disqualification also criticised by rider's team

The chances of Elia Viviani riding the Giro d'Italia through to its conclusion in Verona have reduced as the sprinter lambasted the race organiser's decision to penalise him 50 points in the ciclamino jersey competition after relegating him from victory on Stage 3.

The Italian national champion crossed the line first in Orbetello yesterday, but was subsequently relegated by the race judges for changing his line in an irregular sprint that impeded Trek-Segafredo's Matteo Moschetti.

Eventually, UAE-Team Emirates's Fernando Gaviria was awarded victory while Viviani was demoted to 73rd on the stage and also deducted 50 points in the sprinters' classification, a move that the rider told Gazzetta dello Sport may affect whether he rides the entire three weeks.

'I didn't know that they had also penalised me 50 points in the sprinters' classification,' Viviani told the Italian paper. 'How can I recover them [the points]? This can change my Giro. The only motivation for a sprinter to stay in the race until Verona is the ciclamino jersey.'

While Viviani's complaints are understandable, the points deduction is in accordance with the rules set by the UCI which state that relegation for an irregular sprint must also be accompanied by a subsequent deduction in points from the stage.

Regardless, the Italian and his team were not pleased with the decision. Viviani journeyed straight to the team bus after the decision, choosing not to stop to talk to press. Meanwhile, the rider's Deceuninck sports director Rick Van Slycke and team manager Patrick Lefevere also expressed their disagreement.

The usually vocal Lefevere tweeted 'what a ridiculous decision #uci jury #GirodeItalia @eliaviiani @deceuninck_qst'

Van Slycke then took the opportunity to criticise the race organisers and the stage finish which he believed was not suitable for a Grand Tour.

'If you want to pass the rider in front of you, you have to change your line,' said Van Slycke. 'Look at the sprint yourself and you will see. He came out of the wheel of Pascal Ackermann and then Moschetti was still behind him. He didn’t see him coming. And then Elia takes his line and now they’ve disqualified him, and we’ll see what happens.'

Van Slycke then added, 'There are technical guides and assistance from the UCI, but if you see the finish, this is not a finish for a big tour. That’s one point.'

'They shouldn't start there. If they want trouble, they have trouble with finishes like this. If they disqualify him for this then they will have a lot of work to do in the next sprints.'