Pro Cycling

Porte given 2′ penalty after illegal wheel change

Richie Porte’s woes continued yesterday evening as it emerged that he had been given a 2 minute penalty for an illegal wheel change during yesterday’s stage.

Richie Porte punctured in the last few kilometers of Stage 10 which was won by Bardiani CSF’s Nicola Boem. Porte was given a wheel by fellow Australian Simon Clarke and was sent on his way to try and get back to the bunch, with Michael Matthews helping the chase effort.

Although Porte lost 47″ to Contador on the line, his assistance from another team member broke a little known UCI rule that carried a time penalty and a fine of 200 Swiss Francs:

Rule 12:1:040 prohibits ‘non-regulation assistance to a rider from another team’ – which Orica-GreenEdge’s Simon Clarke clearly contravened by giving Team Sky’s Porte a wheel.

Simon Clarke also suffered a time penalty of 2′ and 200 Swiss Francs although as he is not a GC contender this doesn’t affect him as much as Porte.

The penalty means that Richie Porte now drops to 12th in the GC – 3’09” down on the Maglia Rosa.

The penalty sparked outrage on social media as fans and journalists alike condemned the punishment of a show of sportsmanship that was in the spirit of the race. There were also calls for the peloton to neutralise the penalty by allowing Porte to ride out in front for two minutes at the end of the Stage, although this is unlikely.

Giro d’Italia Director Mauro Vegni explained that there was little to be done: “rules are rules and I think rules have to be respected for the credibility of the sport”.

“These are race matters and they are judged by the commissaires and their decision is final”.

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