Tour de France commissaires explain decision to reverse penalties for illegal feeding on stage 12

UCI Commissaires Panel reverses decision due to vehicles being unable to reach riders

Rigoberto Uran on stage 12 of the 2017 Tour de France
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Tour de France commissaires have offered an explanation as to why have reversed a decision to penalise riders 20 seconds for taking illegal feeds late on stage 12.

Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac), George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) were all initially penalised 20 seconds for taking drinks from the side of the road within the last 20km, before the commissaires reversed their decision ahead of stage 13.

A UCI statement said that the eventual decision not to penalise the riders was taken because riders were unable to take food and drink earlier in the race.

Watch: Tour de France stage 12 highlights

"In light of the inability of teams to resupply their riders before the last climb of stage 12 of the 2017 Tour de France due to specific circumstances of the race which had blocked vehicles, the UCI Commissaires Panel has decided to annul the penalties imposed on riders Serge Pauwels, George Bennett and Rigoberto Uran," the statement read.

The original decision had been the subject of controversy after footage emerged of eventual stage winner Romain Bardet taking a bottle from a spectator at the same time as Bennett, but escaping punishment.

The race continues on Friday with a 101km stage from Saint-Girons to Foix.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.