Peter Van Petegem’s Davitamon-Lotto team has lodged a complaint with the UCI over their rider’s disqualification in last Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.
The Belgian, who finished third behind winner Fabien Cancellara (CSC) and Leif Hoste (Discovery Channel), was disqualified along with Hoste and Discovery teammate Vladimir Gusev after the trio ignored a barrier at a railway crossing and continued racing without waiting for the train to pass.
In its complaint, Davitamon argues that the group riding behind Van Petegem, containing ProTour leader Tom Boonen (Quick Step), also of Belgium — who was elevated from fifth to second after the disqualifications — also passed the crossing before the barrier was raised, albeit after the train had passed.
Team spokesmen say they have television footage and photographic evidence that proves their point.
The result is important for the ProTour standings, as Van Petegem’s disqualification cost him 40 points and gave Boonen an extra 15. Boonen leads the standings with 129 points, 24 clear of Italy’s Alessandro Ballan, who also benefited from the disqualifications, while Van Petegem is in 22nd place with just 30 points after seven of 27 races.
Hincapie stateside for surgery
George Hincapie was scheduled to undergo surgery on his right shoulder Tuesday in the United States, according to Discovery Channel sporting director Dirk Demol.
The 32-year-old American, who crashed in Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, sustained a fracture between the shoulder and the clavicle, Demol said, adding that the injury will not keep him out of the Tour de France.
“George will have obviously to give up the Tour of Georgia, but he will return in Dauphiné Libéré,” added Demol.
Ullrich back on the bike
Germany’s Jan Ullrich is back in training after overcoming a minor knee injury, his T-Mobile team reported on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old Ullrich was forced to delay his start to the 2006 season after irritating an old injury to his right knee but is now back in the saddle preparing for his season in Tuscany.
“Jan is pain-free now and will progressively intensify the training load in the coming days to be ready for the Tour of Romandie,” said T-Mobile team manager Olaf Ludwig.
The six-day Tour of Romandie in Switzerland runs from April 25-30.
Ullrich decided to skip the one-day spring classics and was then forced to cancel his start at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France in early April due to the knee injury.
The T-Mobile captain has vowed not to rush back from the complaint but is aware that time is running out to reach peak fitness ahead of this year’s Tour de France, July 1-July 23.
Ullrich, third last year, is one of the contenders for the title. Winner of the Tour in 1997, he has finished runner-up five times.