Katusha say the time penalty given to Alexey Tsatevich for drafting Tobias Ludvigsson on the Giro d'Italia time trial was not enough and withdraw him from the race

Katusha have taken the bold step to remove Alexey Tsatevich from the Giro d’Italia after the Russian sprinter was fined and given a time penalty for drafting on the stage nine time trial.

Tsatevich was forced to hand over 100 Swiss Francs and was given a penalty of 6-48, but the Russian team did not think this was a strong enough penalty and withdrew the rider from the race.

The 26-year-old Volta a Catalunya stage winner was filmed by television cameras following closely behind Giant-Alpecin‘s Tobias Ludvigsson for a significant amount of time, having been passed by the Swede.

Tom Dumoulin’s Giant Trinity TT bike

Katusha sports director Dmitry Konyshev said: “First of all, on behalf of Team Katusha, I would like to apologise for Alexey Tsatevich’s behavior during the time trial. The way Tsatevich rode yesterday’s stage was absolutely unacceptable.

“First of all, he broke the clear rule, known by every professional rider. In addition, he also showed a great lack of respect for his rival, the rider who caught him on the course.

“Moreover, he absolutely ignored the team plan for the day, provided and requested by the sports director. His behavior has a huge and negative impact on the image of cycling in general and Team Katusha in particular.

“Accepting the commissaires penalty was not enough for us; we had to take more severe measures. It is not easy to enter the second week of the race with just 8 riders, but I am convinced we’ve made the right decision.”

The penalty moved Tsatevich down to 48th in the standings, but more importantly it will leave general classification contender Ilnur Zakarin with one fewer support riders heading into the second week of the race.

  • Horia Popan

    You are allowed to overtake another rider who passed you before. The issue is you need to drop back 10 meters immediately after you are passed and then if you want and can pass back, but you need to do it in under 20 seconds. You cannot pass somebody in 5 minutes. If you cannot pass at a certain speed you need to let a gap of 10 meters between you and the rider in front.

    The team car was probably behind the rider and they could see what their rider was doing and probably they asked him to back down and allow the gap. However I think the rider (newbie) just ignored team orders annoying the hell out of team director. This why the rider got suspended.

  • llos25

    My thoughts also I think there is a bit more to this than meets the eye.

  • Butty

    I thought he looked like he was coasting behind him all the way in and could have gone back ahead if he’d tried (is that allowed)?
    Looks like the withdrawal may have been due to other issues and not just the drafting