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Froome backs UCI commissaires' decision to penalise Movistar

Chris Froome (Team Sky) has backed the UCI decision's to penalise Movistar collectively at the Volta a Catalunya, docking a minute from the whole team after José Joaquín Rojas pushed several riders in the team time trial.

Following race jury deliberations Tuesday evening the UCI commissaires changed their mind and Alejandro Valverde was stripped of the GC leadership. Instead of punishing just Rojas and two other riders for the rule violation, they opted to punish the whole team.

Speaking to Cyclingnews as he waited for the start at stage four in Mataró, Froome said, "I think had the jury gone the other way it would have sent a very dangerous precedent for team time trials going forward."

"The jury's decisions are always final, we're always at their mercy, but if they hadn't taken that action [to penalise Movistar] it would have been very dangerous."

Riders were concerned that if the initial penalty had stood, it would allow teams to sacrifice one rider to help keep others in the rotation.

After the dust had finally settled on the stage 2 classifications, Sky finished second on the stage behind BMC Racing, after Movistar were knocked back collectively a minute, 44 seconds down.

Volta race organiser Rubén Peris refused to comment on the last-minute decision by the UCI commissaires, telling Cyclingnews only, "it's up to them."

Froome, Geraint Thomas and Mikel Landa are Sky's three options in the Volta a Catalunya, with Thomas ranked as the team leader following his strong performance in Tirreno-Adriatico, where he took fifth overall and won a stage.

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Alasdair Fotheringham
Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.