Giro d'Italia: Visconti's sports director fined after throwing bottle in frustration

Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM's Giovanni Visconti leads the eventual winner of stage 3 of the 2020 Giro d'Italia, EF Pro Cycling's Jonathan Caicedo, on the slopes of Mount Etna
Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM's Giovanni Visconti leads the eventual winner of stage 3 of the 2020 Giro d'Italia, EF Pro Cycling's Jonathan Caicedo, on the slopes of Mount Etna (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM sports director Luca Scinto was fined 500 Swiss francs on Monday evening for his reaction to not being able to give his rider, Giovanni Visconti, a water bottle from the team car inside the final 10 kilometres of stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia, on which Visconti eventually finished second.

In a similar situation to during this year's Tour de France when Deceuninck-QuickStep's Julian Alaphilippe was given a 20-second time penalty and lost his yellow jersey for taking a bottle inside the final 20 kilometres of stage 5, the 'limit' for food or water on the mountainous stage 3 of the Giro on Monday was set at 10 kilometres.

According to Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM, Scinto had tried to advance in the team car to Visconti and fellow breakaway companion Jonathan Caicedo (EF Pro Cycling) – who went on to win the stage – with around 11km to go, but was not given permission by the race director's car to pass the team cars of other riders who had been dropped from the breakaway.

In TV footage, Scinto could be seen gesturing from the car window that he wanted to give Visconti a water bottle, despite knowing that he was inside the final 10km by the time he was able to reach him. Knowing that there could have been repercussions if he gave it to Visconti, Scinta subsequently threw the bottle to the ground in frustration.

That reaction saw Scinto fined 500 Swiss francs by the UCI, and he later apologised.

"With the feeding ending at 10 kms to go, Scinto wanted to give water to Visconti at 11km to go but the jury didn't let him pass the riders dropped from the breakaway and their cars. That's why he was nervous, on a vital stage for us. He is sorry about that," the team wrote on social media.

With the stage taking place on the island of Sicily, and with both the team's main sponsor – wine brand Vini Zabù – and Visconti hailing from Sicily, a stage victory on home roads would have been particularly well celebrated.

"To win here would have been a dream," Visconti said after his second place on Mount Etna, according to his team's website. "I wanted to join the breakaway this morning to please both my supporters and my team, who have always been at my side, even if the results haven't come in these past few months.

"Unfortunately, in the final kilometres, Caicedo got the better of me, but it was nevertheless a good performance, and I now want to use this result as a starting point, as my goal is to achieve something special, and so I'm really going to go for it," he said.

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