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Giro d'Italia

Giro jury rules against Leipheimer

Time differences taken at the finish line in Thursday’s sixth stage at the Giro d’Italia stand for now. Members of the race jury ruled Friday after analyzing photos that a crash involving a police motorcycle just under 1km to go “did not cause a time gap” in the rising finish into the fishing village at Peschici. Astana team officials said they would meet Saturday morning with the president of the race jury to further discuss the issue. Other teams have also protested the decision to let the time gaps stand.

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Time differences taken at the finish line in Thursday’s sixth stage at the Giro d’Italia stand for now.

Members of the race jury ruled Friday after analyzing photos that a crash involving a police motorcycle just under 1km to go “did not cause a time gap” in the rising finish into the fishing village at Peschici.

Astana team officials said they would meet Saturday morning with the president of the race jury to further discuss the issue. Other teams have also protested the decision to let the time gaps stand.

Several riders lost time as the main pack split into three groups coming in behind the winning breakaway on the rising finish. Colombian climber Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) and Christian Vande Velde (Slipstream-Chipotle) lost 14 seconds while Astana’s Levi Leipheimer lost 24 seconds to the main pack.

“I don’t know why they wouldn’t be applying the rules because the three-kilometer rule applied in (Thursday’s) stage. There was an accident with a motorcycle that caused the gaps to appear. I cannot see why they’re not applying the rule and it’s ridiculous that they’re not,” Astana sport director Sean Yates told VeloNews. “Everyone knew about the three-kilometer rule, that’s why there wasn’t a desperate sprint to get back on.”

A police motorcycle fell on a sweeping right-hander just after the 1km to go flag, causing at least two riders to crash and several others to come to a complete stop.

Riders caught up behind the mishap believed they were safely within the three-kilometer neutral rule, which says that time differences are not considered if there’s a crash within the final three kilometers of road stages.

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