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Richardson disqualified from Tour of Turkey for arms-on-bars position

KONYA TURKEY APRIL 11 Start Podium Jasper Philipsen of Belgium Alexandar Richardson of United Kingdom Marcel Meisen of Germany Jay Vine of Australia Lionel Taminiaux of Belgium Alexander Krieger of Germany Sacha Modolo of Italy and Team AlpecinFenix during the 56th Presidential Cycling Tour Of Turkey 2021 Stage 1 a 724km stage from Konya to Konya 1030m Route modified due to snow on the original itinerary TUR2021 tourofturkeyTUR on April 11 2021 in Konya Turkey Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images
Alexander Richardson among his Alpecein-Fenix teammates at the Tour of Turkey (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

A few hours after Jumbo-Visma's Gijs Leemreize became the first rider to be disqualified under the UCI's new position regulations enforced at the Brabantse Pijl race, Alexandar Richardson (Alpecin-Fenix) was also booted out of the Tour of Turkey

Video footage captured the British rider resting his forearms on his handlebars, which, along with the super-tuck aero position, has been forbidden since the start of April. 

The incident happened before Leemreize's but, while the Dutchman was pulled from Brabantse Pijl mid-race, Richardson was retrospectively disqualified after finishing in the peloton on stage 4 of the Tour of Turkey. 

His name appeared as a finisher in the official results released by the UCI and race organisers following the stage. However, later in the day, he was re-listed as a 'DSQ'. 

In the meantime, footage of Richardson using his forearms was widely circulated online. 

The 30-year-old was seen with his forearms on his bars and, in an apparent attempt to circumvent the rules, with his little fingers extended to be touching his brake levers. 

The new UCI rule states: "Using the forearms as a point of support on the handlebar is prohibited."

Ahead of the rule changes, the governing body also provided visual guides as to what was and wasn't allowed. The position adopted by Richardson - with hands curled around to make contact with the levers - is illustrated with two images as forbidden. 

The new rules proved controversial at first, with numerous riders arguing that the safety risks of the aero positions were negligible. However, they were unanimously approved by stakeholders, including the CPA riders' association, with rider representatives Matteo Trentin and Philippe Gilbert both complaining that riders didn't take the opportunity to voice their concerns earlier during the creation of the new rules.

With the exception of Richardson and Leemreize, the pro peloton has generally adapted to the new rules on positions. However, the new regulations surrounding littering - introduced at the same time - have proved more troublesome. 

The UCI has had to dial back its sanctions for throwing bottles to roadside fans and accidental littering following the backlash from Michael Schär's disqualification from the Tour of Flanders and that of Kyle Murphy from the GP Indurain. 

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