Russian rider Alexey Tsatevich has said that he is ‘very upset’ that his Katusha team has withdrawn him from the Giro d’Italia after he was penalised for drafting during Sunday’s individual time trial.
Katusha made the unprecedented move of going beyond the official commissaire’s punishment of a 100 CHF fine and time penalty by withdrawing the 26-year-old completely from the race.
Tsatevich was filmed at numerous points in the time trial riding very closely behind Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant-Alpecin) – strictly forbidden in the race rules. He says that he was not warned during the event.
“I am very upset about this situation,” said Tsatevich in a statement published on his personal website on Monday evening.
“During all race I tried to show good results. I fell several times, I got up and continued race again, through feeling of pain, in order to be useful to team.
“On my feelings during ITT, I keep a distance. The judge didn’t warn me about violation of a distance, and so, I continued the race.”
In a statement issued by Katusha earlier in the day, sports director Dmitry Konyshev said that Tsatevich had “absolutely ignored the team plan for the day, provided and requested by the sports director”, something which the rider denies.
“I want to note, that I didn’t ignore the requirement and request of the sporting director.”
Tsatevich signed off from his statement wishing good luck to the eight remaining riders in the Katusha team at the Giro.