‘If you want to pass a rider you have to change lines’: Elia Viviani’s sports director defends sprinter after relegation

The team have responded after the stage three controversy

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Sprinters have to change their lines to fight for the win, says Elia Viviani’s sports director after the jury regulated his star on stage three of the Giro d’Italia.

The Italian Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider had won the sprint, but ended the day 73rd after the jury ruled he cut off Matteo Moschetti (Trek-Segafredo) in the final metres heading into Orbetello in southern Tuscany.

“If you want to pass the rider in front of you, you have to change your line,” said sports director Rik Van Slycke.

“Look at the sprint yourself and you will see. He came out of the wheel of [Pascal] Ackermann and then Moschetti was still behind him. He didn’t see him coming. And then Elia takes his line and now they’ve disqualified him, and we’ll see what happens.”

>>> Five talking points from stage three of the Giro d’Italia 2019

With the Italian Champion pushed back on the results, second-place finisher Fernando Gaviria was handed the win after the 220-kilometre stage.

The day ended with a sharp left and right at 400 metres to race that created extra confusion.

When asked about whether the final corners like the one on stage three should be included, Van Slycke added: “Not with 400 metres before the finish.

“There are technical guides and assistance from the UCI, but if you see the finish, this is not a finish for a big tour. That’s one point.

“Secondly, it’s not because he’s disqualified. They should start there. If they want trouble, they have trouble with finishes like this.”

Viviani, winner of four stages in the 2018 Giro year, would not speak when he arrived back to the bus. He now must look ahead as he has three to four more chances to sprint to victory after Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Gaviria took the first two opportunities.

“If they disqualify him for this,” said Van Slycke, “then they will have a lot of work to do in the next sprints, I think.”