Merijn Zeeman was thrown off the race for ‘improper behaviour’ towards a UCI member, his offences listed in the jury’s report following stage 17 as “intimidation, name calling, improper behavior of a team member towards a UCI member.”
The crankset of Roglič’s bike was dismounted and the bike was damaged in the process, needing to be replaced afterwards, which caused the heated discussion. Zeeman has since apologised for his conduct.
The current yellow jersey says it’s not a “good situation” for him and the team, but pleaded ignorance to the full details during the post-stage 19 press conference.
“For sure we’re not happy with it,” the Slovenian said. “It’s not a good situation for us, I heard about it yesterday in the evening.
“For me, it was a big surprise, also because I was not there, not present when it happened, it’s hard to comment on any of it. It’s not nice that he can’t be here anymore.”
Roglič will focus on tomorrow’s individual time trial up La Planche des Belles Filles, which he goes into with a 57-second buffer over second-place Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).
The Jumbo-Visma rider will decide “at the last moment” whether to change from his time trial bike for a road bike when the course heads uphill, and is cautiously optimistic ahead of the final hurdle before the podium in Paris.
“If I change I will decide tomorrow at the last moment,” he said. “For tomorrow I’m feeling okay, I’m healthy, and yes I’m excited and just looking forward to doing my best. That’s all I can do. We’ll see with the result what it means [for the general classification].