The Giro d’Italia fined Spaniard Alberto Contador on Tuesday, two days after he took the leader’s pink jersey on Mount Etna, for skipping the post-race press conference after stage 10.
An official race jury communiqué stated that Contador did not “respect contract obligations.”
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The race jury fined him 1000CHF or £690 (€790).
“The team told us that Contador doesn’t have enough time,” press officer, Matteo Cavazzuti told Cycling Weekly. “We are upset about it, we want him here.”
Contador won the Tour de France three times and the Giro in 2008, but he has never faced the possibility of defending the leader’s jersey for so long. If he keeps it until the end, he’ll have to defend it for 12 days.
The Giro requires the race leader and stage winner to attend the post-race press conference each day. After the Mount Etna win, Contador spoke with TV and radio press, first Spaniards and then other nationalities. Afterwards, he attended a press conference in the same area for written press.
After today’s stage won by Mark Cavendish in Teramo, Contador spoke with TV and radio press, but skipped the press conference for written press.
“It’s too much,” Contador’s press officer, Jacinto Vidarte told Cycling Weekly. “He can’t do it every day if he has it for two more weeks. Plus, they want him to answer five questions to every TV camera and in different languages.”
Vidarte added that the Tour de France is organised much better for the press. Each day, the riders pass a waiting area for TV, radio and written press immediately before entering a mobile press conference room.
“It’s all done before anti-doping,” added Vidarte, “here, they make the rider do anti-doping first.”
The press conference room today in Teramo was 1,800 metres from the finish. The distance was not long, but would have required a car ride after Contador gave TV and radio interviews and anti-doping tests.
Cavazzuti already informed the written press that Contador, if he still has the race lead, will be unavailable after the Ravenna stage on Thursday. The riders and race caravan faces a three-hour transfer to the start of the next stage in Spilimbergo.
Lance Armstrong often skipped press conferences racing to his seven Tour de France victories.
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Giro d’Italia 2011: Stage reports
Giro d’Italia 2011: Photo galleries
Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson
Giro d’Italia 2011: Live text coverage
Giro d’Italia 2011: Start list
Giro d’Italia 2011: TV schedule