Garmin and Tuft receive hefty UCI fine at Giro for kit mix up

Svein Tuft, Giro d'Italia 2010, stage 16 TT

Svein Tuft and his Garmin-Transitions team received a hefty fine from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) yesterday at the Giro d'Italia because Tuft failed to wear his Canadian national champion's kit.

This morning, Tuft explained, "It was one of those things."

However, the price paid for the error was 2,500 Swiss Francs (£1,500, €1,735).

"I put it in one of our bags in the truck before leaving the hotel because I was just not thinking that it was an actual time trial. At least for me, it was not one that I was gunning for."

Tuft started the 12.9-kilometre time trial with his normal Garmin-Transitions kit because it would have taken too much time for one of the team staff to return to the hotel from the start in San Vigilio.

"I hoped I could get away with it."

The UCI had a keen eye that morning despite an early start and noticed Tuft, who finished third at the Varese Worlds time trial behind Bert Grabsch. Jury president, Vincente Tortajada, approached sports director Matt White for an explanation.

Svein Tuft, Giro d'Italia 2010, stage 16 TT

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"He said that the rider simply forgot his jersey. Sometimes a team will have a reasonable excuse - perhaps a jersey is ripped due to a fall or it's somehow damaged - but when we asked, the director simply said the jersey was forgotten," Tortajada explained.

"The range of fine is from 2,500 to 5,000, so we chose the smallest fine possible to try to be fair."

The fine will not come directly out of Tuft's pay check, but out of the team's budget created at the start of the year to handle miscellaneous fines.

"I think that is a little steep. I felt pretty bad because of it," Tuft continued. "It wasn't intentional, I just didn't have it with me. In fact, I love wearing it the kit with the maple leaf."

The UCI commissaires hand out fines daily for miscellaneous violations. There were 12 violations today, totalling 800 Swiss Francs.

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