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

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Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac)

Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac)
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George Bennett crosses the line after stage 12 at the Tour de France

George Bennett crosses the line after stage 12 at the Tour de France
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Romain Bardet on the podium after winning stage 12 at the Tour de France

Romain Bardet on the podium after winning stage 12 at the Tour de France
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Rigoberto Uran drives to the line of stage 9 at the Tour de France

Rigoberto Uran drives to the line of stage 9 at the Tour de France
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Green jersey holder Arnaud Demare with Philippe Marien pre-stage

Green jersey holder Arnaud Demare with Philippe Marien pre-stage (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

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 is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has 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 runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.