Vaughters: Tour shouldn't come down to water bottles and incompetence

The UCI commissaires once again found themselves in the centre of a storm at the Tour de France on Thursday after penalising Rigoberto Urán (Cannondale-Drapac) and George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) for illegally taking a feed on stage 12, but pardoning Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) of the same offense.

Both Urán and Bennett were slapped with 20-second penalties for breaking UCI rules, while Bardet, who won the stage and closed in on yellow, escaped any punishment.

"We assumed that's why we had the penalty and Bardet didn't, but Marien's first response was that he didn't care if the feed came from a small child or anyone, the penalty would still be the same.

"I'd rather no one got the penalty," he said. "The Tour de France shouldn't be decided by water bottles."

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.