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No penalty for Chavanel despite offense

Sylvain Chavanel kept his green jersey

Sylvain Chavanel kept his green jersey (Image credit: AFP)

By Jean-François Quénet in Nice

Quick Step's directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters was fined 200 Swiss francs for irregular feeding but it wasn't for what everyone saw on TV. Earlier in the race, Peeters had already broken the rules when he fed Jérôme Pineau. Then on the downhill of the col d'Èze, Peeters gave his rider Sylvain Chavanel a bottle although there were only five kilometres remaining. Feeding is prohibited inside the final 20 kilometres.

Peeters also tried to shelter Chavanel behind his car after a bike change, but the commissaires were prompt to tell him to stop cheating. In a meeting after the race, they decided not to punish the French racer because he had been left with no bottle on his new bike, a change he made as a result of a crash earlier at the beginning of the downhill. A 20-second penalty would have demoted him from the final podium.

As he stepped onto the stage to claim the green jersey of the points classification winner, Chavanel was bleeding from his hand.

"The road was slippery, and I couldn't avoid crashing," he said. "My chain was blocked after that, and that's why I had to change my bike.

"I took a lot of risks to save my third place on the GC."