Richardson finished stage 4 in Turkey, won by Mark Cavendish, but an eagle-eyed UCI official spotted television coverage of the British rider breaking the rules, and he was kicked out of the race after the stage concluded.
The expulsions — believed to be the first since new rules were adopted at the beginning of April — come as the UCI is cracking down on a wave of safety issues and infractions across the peloton.
Alexander Richardson was disqualified after yesterday's #TUR2021 stage for using this position.
Assume someone in the higher part of UCI's hierarchy intervened as it happened after official results where published. pic.twitter.com/ucpYroZSKC
— La Flamme Rouge (@laflammerouge16) April 15, 2021
Jumbo-Visma confirmed Leemreize’s disqualification on social media, though did not say which of the illegal positions he adopted. Leemreize’s teammate Wout van Aert finished second in Brabantse Pijl after being outsprinted by Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers).
Among the popular riding positions that were placed on the UCI banned list include the so-called “super-tuck”, where the rider squats on the top tube to gain an aero advantage. Draping hands over the brake hoods or resting arms on the handlebars, akin to the time trial position, can also see disqualification.
The ban on select riding positions is part of a wave of controversial “April 1 rules” that saw Michael Schär and Letizia Borghesi expelled from the men’s and women’s Tour of Flanders for tossing bottles.
Leemreize is in his first season with the Jumbo-Visma squad after previously riding for their development team. De Brabantse Pijl was his second race at the top level.
Richardson, 30, is in his second season with Alpecin-Fenix following several years on the British Continental scene.
Also Wednesday, the UCI eased rules on its equally controversial water bottle-tossing rules.
Add Gijs Leemreize to your cycling trivia bar bet quiver as first rider DQ’d for the supertuck.
— Bill Schieken | CXHAIRS Media (@CXHairs) April 14, 2021