As seen on cyclingnews.com

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Flecha mechanic

My latest piece for cyclingnews.com is online to read. This time it’s the subject of fines. Every evening the Tour de France puts out an official communiqué with the full results and classification for the day but this also includes a medical bulletin of the riders who visited the race doctor during the stage as well as a list of any riders, team staff and others on the race who were fined for the day.

The list of fines varies, it’s usually small infractions like “urinating in public” and team officials being made to pay for giving their riders a tow. You might not realise it but it’s actually illegal for a team mechanic to lean out of the window and conduct mobile repairs, everything has to be done by the roadside and when stationary.

But if 200 Swiss Francs is a cost of doing business for some teams, if someone gets fined twice then they risk being thrown off the race for a third offence. Several offences, even minor ones, involve a “three strikes and you’re out” policy.

For the full piece see http://www.cyclingnews.com/blogs/inner-ring/fines-a-cost-of-operating-in-tour-de-france

Previous pieces
http://www.cyclingnews.com/blogs/inner-ring/three-week-tour-thats-no-vacation
http://www.cyclingnews.com/blogs/inner-ring/inner-ring-on-the-tour-de-france
http://www.cyclingnews.com/blogs/inner-ring/dont-miss-the-early-action-each-tour-de-france-stage

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{ 6 comments }

Starr July 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm

It’s almost impossible to “not” urinate in public at the Tour de France, as the roads are always lined with spectators.

Gotta wonder how the officials call that one, since there are no rural areas, even in the rural areas.

grumpyoldman July 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I was watching and listening to the commentary on France 2 (am currently fortunate enough to be living and riding near Figeac), and thought I heard someone say that some of the peloton were complaining about Cavendish getting assistance from the car to help him up some of the stiffer climbs.

Any truth in this, or is it just that they’ll say anything to gripe about ‘le bad boy’?

That said, the guy who does the interviews at the end said yesterday, “Je craque pour Cavendish. Je l’adore.” So he’s obviously won over a few hearts and minds.

C Grade Cyclist July 15, 2011 at 2:41 am

I wonder why they bother with some of these small fines… If they really have a safety concern, then ban it and take action. If not, then just let the mechanics do their thing…

But these silly little 200 swiss franc fines are a little ridiculous….

Anon July 15, 2011 at 4:15 am

Wow. I did not know that. Thanks for the article! Keep up the fantastic work!

PT July 15, 2011 at 6:17 am

C-Grade Cyclist +1.
If the nature and micro value of these fines wasn’t funny enough on their own, to have it in Swiss Franc’s is even funnier. I know its where the UCI is based but seriously, this is the TDF, surely the local currency should be used? More UCI absurdity, good for a laugh at least.

Operarunner July 15, 2011 at 11:12 am

I’ll bet these fines constitute a tidy line item of about 50-100k for the UCI. From tiny acorns…

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