On July 1 the UCI introduced a new rule (12.1.040.37) concerning the pushing of riders with the team car while passing on bottles, making mechanical adjustments or handing over rain jackets.
During stage 7 Brian Holm, directeur sportif for the HTC-Highroad team, received a second warning from the UCI. It means that Holm had to drive at the back of the caravan with his team car, making it extremely hard to reach the riders when needed. Should Holm receive a third warning, he'll be kicked out for the remainder of the Tour.
Speaking in Lisieux before the start of stage 9, the Dane wasn't aware of having broken the rules.
"Maybe I made the mistake that I misunderstood the new rule," Holm told Cyclingnews. "I thought the rule was about going uphill while giving a bottle. I saw somebody crash and he was going at 25 km/h, he was giving a jacket to the car and taking some bottles. I really didn't have a clue that what I did was wrong and I didn't take it [the rule] serious enough. If something happens again I can go home tomorrow. Maybe I deserve it but I didn't know it."
"It's not that when someone is dropped that we hang him on the car. We're talking about driving at 25 km/h, passing a bottle to a rider while trying to keep my place in the convoy so it's not a high-speed situation. I could not have avoided it because I didn't know what I did. It's difficult but the rules are there so I have to obey them. I just have to pay more attention to it as now has become part of the race. I don't know what I have to do. You have to respect the commissaires."
It's no secret that riders are often brought back into the peloton after going through some sort of bad luck. One might figure that this is somewhat fair, but team cars during this Tour have also been spotted while helping riders to stay in touch with the peloton on the climbs, to make the time cut.
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