Frnk Schleck’s victory at the Criterium International is to be scrutinised by the UCI to see if he broke competition rules by wearing a Camelbak drinks pack on his stomach to help boost his aerodynamic profile in the decisive final time trial.
Schleck was allowed to start the time trial by UCI officials present at the race but he may have broken rule 1.3.033 which says “it is forbidden to wear non-essential items of clothing or items designed to influence the performances of a rider such as reducing air resistance or modifying the body of the rider.”
The UCI confirmed to Cyclingnews that they will study the case in detail and then decide on opening a disciplinary procedure against Schleck.
Questions about the strange looking bulge under Schleck’s skin suit first circulated on Twitter and then picked up steam when Gazzetta dello Sport suggested Schleck had broken UCI rule 1.3.033.
The Italian newspaper suggested that the Camelbak could give an advantage of two seconds per kilometre at a speed of 50km/h. Schleck finished seven seconds slower than main rival Vasili Kiryienka (Movistar) in the 7.8km time trial but hung on to win the overall classification by 13 seconds.
The Leopard Trek team has admitted that Schleck wore a Camelbak but denied any wrong doing.
“Fränk rode with a Camelbak on his chest. The UCI saw it and didn’t say anything,” the Leopard Trek press officer Tim Vanderjeugd told L’Equipe.
“It’s the first time we’ve use it and we wanted to evaluate its effects in the time trial. Even if the distance was short, he needed to stay hydrated.”