Barguil disqualified from Paris-Nice for drafting

Warren Barguil
Warren Barguil before his crash (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Warren Barguil's time at Paris-Nice was short-lived after the UCI jury tossed the Frenchman from the race following stage 1, saying the Arkea-Samsic rider spent too much time drafting behind his team car trying to make it back to the peloton after a crash that saw him go down with Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale).

Citing rule, which forbids drafting behind race vehicles, the race jury removed Barguil from the competition for the final seven stages and also fined his team director for ignoring directions from officials. 

Barrguil's crash came on a roundabout with 61km to go as crosswinds started to cause echelons to form in the peloton. Barguil hit the deck with Bardet and one other rider. 

The peloton had started to split after a Team Sunweb acceleration through the corner, and while most of the peloton went on the right-hand side of the roundabout, a small group including Barguil and Bardet went left. It's not clear what caused the crash.

Bardet was able to get up quickly, although he was holding his elbow in pain, while Barguil remained stricken on the tarmac for several minutes, eventually remounting but only tentatively powering his bike. He stopped after a few kilometres and appeared ready to abandon but got back on his back and carried on.

He eventually finished more than 14 minutes down but within the time limit. His effort was for naught, however, as the jury ruled quickly that he would not be allowed to continue. 

Paris-Nice was Barguil's fourth start of the season after competing in Tour de la Provence, the Faun-Ardèche Classic - where he was fourth - and the Royal Bernard Drome Classic, where he was second to EF Pro Cycling's Simon Clarke.

Barguil is scheduled to race next at Volta a Catalunya, which starts March 23 in Spain.

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Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake. He studied English and journalism at the University of Oregon and has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon, with his imaginary dog Rusty.