Philippe Marien calls for new commissaires to study video footage

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Video judges should be introduced to adjudicate on bunch sprints with the UCI considering action on the issue, according to Philippe Marien, the commissaire who disqualified Peter Sagan from the 2017 Tour de France.

In an interview with Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, Marien said that introducing extra officials to study TV footage rather than being in the race itself would help to make decisions easier.

>>> UCI race jury explains decision to disqualify Peter Sagan from the Tour de France

“There must be a video referee, just like in football,” the Belgian said.

“They should be in front of the TV during the sprint and should concentrate only on the sprint itself, then we would not have to look at the images later and could make the decision immediately. The UCI has promised me that it is working on it.”

Marien also gave a hint of some of the online abuse he had received after the decision, and that he hadn’t realised the amount of media scrutiny that he would come under.

“When it happened, I received a message from a good friend. Who said ‘do not watch TV anymore, do not read any emails, Facebook or Twitter.’

>>> Peter Sagan: Tour de France jury made ‘a big mistake’ over disqualification

“I received mails from all over the world. Whatever we had decided, it would not have been good.

“I did not realize what came down to me. When I saw those pictures in the newspaper, with fifty cameras focusing on me, that was a fright.”