Orica-GreenEdge's bus driver, Garikoitz Atxa, said he followed all the rules before finding himself blocking the finish line of of the Tour's opening stage yesterday.
"I was a bit late and when I arrived at the finish I followed the instructions that were given to me," 'Gary' Atxa told France 2 this morning.
"When I arrived at the finish line I saw that it was a bit low, but they [the officials] said, 'avance, avance!'
"I saw that the others had passed before me, so I did exactly the same thing; but it was bad luck that it [the finishing arch] was a little low and what happened."
Atxa had taken VIPs to their hotel prior to arriving at the finish area and had therefore lost precious time on an already stressful stage. Yesterday, all race vehicles had to drive the course as no alternative route was offered.
The other buses were already parked in the lot after the finish line when Orica's bus got back on to the course around five kilometres from the line.
"The bus had permission to go to the finish line, but he was ordered to stop at the finish line due to the four-metre rule [on the arch]," Jean-Louis Pagès, head of stage finishes, said on TV yesterday.
"He shouldn't have gone further. He was told to stop and ask for authorisation."
Once the other team buses had passed the finish line the arch had been lowered into position for the stage finish, meaning there wasn't enough room for the Orica bus to pass underneath. Atxa hit part of it when he attempted to go through and found himself stuck.
Workers franticly let air out of his tyres to lower the bus before trying to push it backwards off the course. In the meantime, the race jury president, Vicente Tortajada Villarroya, moved the finish to three kilometres out and minutes later, when the bus was finally cleared, back to the original finish line.
It added to the chaos of the race, which suffered two crashes in the closing kilometres.
"Yes, of course," Atxa said when asked if he knows the race rules. "I did the [Criterium du] Dauphiné before [the Tour] and that is run by exactly the same organisation [as the Tour] and with the same regulations. I did the Giro [d'Italia] last year as well. There is no doubt. I followed all the regulations.
"I respected all the indications that were given to me, as all my colleagues from other teams. I did nothing special. I didn't [take] personal decisions at all. I followed the regulations of the organisation."
The UCI jury issued Orica a 2000 Swiss Franc fine for not respecting the race's time schedule.
Atxa stays in the race until tomorrow, as planned, until the team's other bus driver takes over for mainland France. At that point, the Tour de France organiser hopes all the day one chaos is long forgotten.
Tour de France 2013: Related links
Tour de France 2013: Who will win?
Tour de France 2013: The Big Preview
Tour de France 2013: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
Tour de France 2013 team tracker
Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release wherever you are in the world with our iPad and iPhone edition - International digital edition (opens in new tab), UK digital edition (opens in new tab). And if you like us, rate us!
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
Tweets of the week: Fabian Cancellara has a PS5 for you, and SD Worx's riders have fun in California
The World Cup might be distracting you, but cycling still exists, come on
By Adam Becket • Published
Black Friday bike deals live: computers, smartwatches, clothing, shoes and more!
Black Friday has just begun and we'll be on hand throughout the long weekend picking out the very best deals on cycling kit
By Stefan Abram • Published