The UCI's declaration that 23 riders had shown abnormal values in the early testing of its biological passport program has raised the hackles of Quick Step sprinter Gert Steegmans. The winner of stage two of the Four Days of Dunkirk expressed his disgust at speculation by the Dutch media on Thursday that his fellow competitor in the North of France, Clement Lhotellerie, is one of the 23 riders under watch by the UCI.
Lhotellerie, 22, of the Dutch Skil-Shimano team had a break-out performance in Paris-Nice earlier this year, where he won the mountains classification, and is currently second place overall in Dunkirk after being a part of the first stage breakaway with his compatriot Stéphane Augé.
But the Frenchman's week was interrupted by the report, which quoted an anonymous team-mate saying Lhotellerie's "shady practices" were putting the team in jeopardy.
"It is a perfect example of how not to deal with such things," an annoyed Steegmans told Het Nieuwsblad, "Why was that announced in this way? Either you say the full names, or you shut up and go about your business. This is only good for making everyone suspicious. I am certainly not the only one in the peloton with this opinion."