photo credits @ Team Astana
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was disqualified during today’s stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana, for holding onto a team vehicle.
After announcing the decision to disqualify Nibali, the race director said he had “never seen anything similar” to the Italian’s decision to hold onto an Astana team car, and lamented the rider’s “regrettable attitude”.
Nibali took hold of his Astana team car with 16 kilometers remaining, in an attempt to make up lost ground and join the leaders, after being involved in an earlier crash.
The Italian rider subsequently made contact, but was dropped during the final climb to Caminito del Rey.
After the race jury saw the video of the incident, it dismissed Nibali, along with the sports director, Alexandre Shefer, who was driving the car.
“We’ve seen the video. They tried to search in the rules, all the possibilities, but you know the decision, to expel the rider,” Vuelta race director Javier Guillén told journalists after the stage finish.
“I agree with the decision, because I think his attitude is regrettable.”
“There is no other possibility — this image is bad for cycling, for the sport. The consequences of this decision are bad for the Vuelta, we have lost a big rider,” Guillén continued.
“Any other decision would be hard to understand. The rules have to be followed. We have seen the images, I have never seen anything similar before. We respect the UCI jury’s call on this — we are sorry for what has happened.”
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