Tour de France: Julian Alaphilippe escapes penalty for Galibier push

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) escaped a sanction after receiving a push from a member of the Deceuninck-Quickstep staff on the Col du Galibier climb during stage 18 of the Tour de France. The yellow jersey was caught on camera taking a short push on the final climb of the day but the UCI commissaires reviewed the footage and deemed that although a rule violation took place the race leader would escape a fine. Under the rule chosen by the UCI Alaphilippe could not have been given a time penalty.

During the Giro d’Italia in May, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) was docked ten seconds after taking two far more blatant pushes on Monte Avena during stage 20. Those pushes involved fans on the roadside, but the instance involving Alaphilippe took place after the race leader was dropped by his rivals.

The incident did not go completely unpunished with the UCI deeming that Article 2.12.007/8.1 had been broken by Alaphillipe’s team. According to the UCI rule book, this law governs ‘failure to respect instructions, improper, dangerous or violent behaviour; damage to the environment or the image of the sport.’ As a result the team’s sports director Tom Steels was handed a 500CHF fine. Under that rule, the UCI could have fined Alaphilippe but not docked him any time.

Alaphilippe eventually caught his main rivals on the descent into Valloire and finished safely in a group that contained Geraint Thomas (Ineos), Mikel Landa (Movistar), and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ). Going into stage 19, Alaphilippe holds a 1:30 lead over Egan Bernal (Ineos) with Thomas sitting several seconds further back in third overall. The Tour finishes on Sunday and Alaphilippe is vying to become the first French winner since Bernard Hinault in 1985.

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