Tinkoff-Saxo came 20th and last in the opening team time trial at the Tour of Austria, after pre-stage bike checks left half their team setting off 15 seconds late.
With the teams starting two minutes apart on the 5.4km course, UCI officials reportedly did not have enough time to complete the checks on all of the bikes before Tinkoff’s start time.
Sports director Nicki Sorensen noted that the team’s general classification rider, Robert Kiserlovski, was one of those riders held up at the start, which leaves him 27 seconds down on Katusha’s Rudi Selig.
“We’ve complained to the organizers, as all our riders were on site and present as required,” Sorensen said in a press release. “It’s a costly mistake and it’s a shame, as we are here to compete for a top spot in the general classification.”
He added: “Teams started two minutes apart, while it’s usually customary to have at least three minutes between teams on a time-trial.
“One rider from BMC was delayed, so as a result, the controls of our bikes started less than two minutes before the scheduled start. In essence, only [Jesper] Hansen, Chris Anker [Sorensen], [Pawel] Poljanski and [Oliver] Zaugg had their bikes controlled, when the gun fired, while our four other guys, including our GC-captain Kiserlovski, were held up.”
Katusha set the best time over the short course, coming home in 5m45, followed a second later by MTN-Qhubeka, with BMC finishing third.