Giro d'Italia: König and Van den Broeck fined for holding onto car

Tuesday’s stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia to Aprica was one of the toughest so far and that was reflected in the punishments handed out for riders hanging onto cars or motorbikes on the climbs. A total of 16 riders were given some level of fine and time penalty for holding on too long, including a number of overall contenders, according to Biciciclismo.

Team Sky’s Leopold König and Lotto-Soudal’s Jürgen Van den Broeck were among those who received a 50 Swiss Franc fine, a five-point deduction in the points competition and a 10-second time penalty in the overall classification. König is Team Sky’s new leader after Richie Porte abandoned the race on Monday. The Czech rider finished ninth on Tuesday’s stage 3:19 down on the winner Mikel Landa (Astana), moving himself up to sixth overall. Van Den Broeck was in the next group on the road almost three minutes further back and now sits 12th overall.

Other riders who had the same penalty dished out to them were Patrick Gretsch (AG2R-La Mondiale), Marcus Burghardt and Silvan Dillier (BMC), Bartlomiej Matysiak and Sylwester Szmyd (CCC Sprandi), Kenny Elissonde (FDJ), Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin), Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo), Giacomo Nizzolo and Fabio Silvestre (Trek Factory Racing). Silvestre was in the last group of riders to cross the line 40:19 behind the leaders.

Four riders were handed a more substantial fine of 100 CHF, a 10-point deduction and had 20 seconds docked off their general classification time. They were: stage 5 winner Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida), Elia Favilli and Francesco Gavazzi (Southeast) and Marco Coledan (Trek Factory Racing).

Riders can risk disqualification from the race for holding onto cars. In 2012, the jury threw four riders from the Giro d’Italia on stage 20 – which included the Mortirolo – for the same practice. More recently, Francesco Reda was disqualified from the An Post Rás while in the leader’s jersey when he held onto a race vehicle following a puncture.

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