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Marianne Vos responds to her Postnord Vårgårda WestSweden disqualification

A few seconds of 'puppy paws' was enough to disqualify Dutchwoman after initially being declared the winner.

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Marianne Vos has described her disqualification from Sunday’s Postnord Vårgårda WestSweden road race as a “real pity” but said she accepts the decision of the race jury.

Vos was initially declared the winner of the one-day race, in what would have been a record fourth victory at the race, but then had it taken away after the UCI commissaires ruled she had ridden in an illegal riding position.

The Jumbo-Visma star had been spotted riding with her forearms on her handlebars with her hands dangling over the front, a position that is also known as “puppy paws,” for a few seconds. The position was banned by the UCI in April 2021 and was enough to see Vos disqualified with Trek-Segafredo’s Audrey Cordon-Ragot promoted to the win.

“It is a real pity, but that is how it is,” Vos said of the decision. “When I was in that ‘puppy paw position,’ I quickly realized it was not allowed. I immediately switched to the correct position. Apparently, it was enough for the UCI to disqualify me. We’ll have to accept their decision.

“It is a pity, but it is a rule, and it is strictly enforced. You usually don’t ride in that position. I feel bad about it because I did not benefit from it, but rules are rules.”

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The Vårgårda WestSweden road race was Vos’s first race since completing the Tour de France Femmes just over a week ago. The Dutchwoman won two stages of the inaugural event and went on to win the green jersey of the points classification after a long stint in yellow.

After a busy July racing the Giro d’Italia Donne and the Tour, Vos eased up a touch on the training over the last week.

“It went well today. It was a bit of a switch to be racing again. The past week was all about recovering from the Tour,” Vos said. “Now I suddenly found myself in the hectic of a race again. The team helped me a lot to get back into it. We were alert and had a good position in the front. I’m happy with the way we rode this race.”

Vos’ will not have much time to lament on her disqualification as she heads to Denmark for the opening stage of the new Tour of Scandinavia. The new six-day race replaces the Ladies Tour of Norway and will bring the riders from Denmark, back into Sweden and onto Norway.