The UCI has caught a lot of flak recently over its rules, from trying to ban celebration hugs during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe to new regulations which sees riders disqualified for discarding a bidon in the wrong area and for reiterations of the supertuck position.
Movistar's Davide Villella, though, may have received a fine for the most egregious and audacious (at least in the eyes of the UCI) rule-breaking yet.
At the end of stage three of the Tour de Romandie, the race jury's communique, which lists all of the day's results as well as fines, had a 200 Swiss francs fine apportioned to Villella for crossing the finish line twice while still wearing his race numbers and/or frame number plate.
This is in accordance with point 1.6 of article 2.12.007 (catchy) of the UCI's rules governing road racing, specifying the infringement as: "Recrossing the finish line in the direction of the race while still displaying body number or frame number."
For WorldTour, World Championship or Olympic events, the fine is CHF 200, or around €180, while women's WorldTour, or Continental Championships and ProSeries events only sting you CHF 100 for the same indiscretion. The violation at national and junior events, as well as Class 2 events for men and women, only costs CHF 50.
The reasons why Villella crossed back over the finish line in the direction of the race are not known. On stage three he had finished 35th, only 1-21 down on stage winner and team-mate Marc Soler.
Hopefully, this incident stars in the next instalment of the Movistar Netflix documentary series. The borderline-terrifying Pablo Lastras (at least, that's how he came across in the doc) banging on the door of the commissaires office at the end of the stage before chucking each individual coin of the fine at them, yelling at the UCI to enjoy the extra bottle of wine they can now afford at dinner that evening...
Villella has had an eventful Romandie, getting himself up the road in the day's breakaway on stage two. The 29-year-old will feature in the Spanish squad's Giro d'Italia line-up, headlined by Soler.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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