Francisco Ventoso of Team CarmioOro A-Style) won the Tour of Hainan in a surprising fashion, as a time penalty knocked leader Boris Shpilevsky of the Russian national team down to 37th place. The Spaniard was pleased with his win and said that the Russian had been riding irregularly all week.
Sometime during the last two of 12 laps of the 6.6km circuit course, the Russian broke a wheel, and replaced it with one from a rider with the German Nutrixxion Sparkasse team.
He went on to win the stage, with Ventoso third on the day and second overall.
However, the race jury gave Shpilevsky a two-minute time penalty for the wheel change. According to the UCI's rule 2.3.012, “The lending or exchanging of tubular tyres of bicycles … shall be permitted only amongst riders of the same team.”
“The truth is that from the outside this may appear to be bad luck for the rider, but it comes after many days of unsportsmanlike manoeuvres,” Ventoso said. “I won't go into details, but … (Shpilevsky) had many irregularities of this kind throughout the week. Today was the straw that broke the camel's back.”
It was Ventoso's ninth win this season for the Spanish Continental team. “I am personally very pleased with this new victory.” He had top ten finishes in all but one stage, “so the win was more than deserved.”
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