UCI releases video showing why Nils Eekhoff was disqualified from World Championships
The governing body has clarified the controversial decision
The UCI has released the footage of Nils Eekhoff drafting behind his team car, which resulted in him being stripped of his World Championship victory.
Dutchman Eekhoff crossed the line first in the under-23 road race on Friday (September 27), but was later disqualified from the race after the race jury were alerted to video of him slipstreaming behind his team car.
The jury’s decision caused uproar among riders, who questioned why Eekhoff hadn’t been penalised immediately.
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However, the UCI later said that the jury had been alerted to the footage by the video referee after the race had finished, with the referee checking video of Eekhoff because he had won.
The day after the race, the UCI released a two-minute video of the incident and clarified the situation.
A statement from the authority said: “The UCI wishes to provide further information on the disqualification yesterday of Dutch rider Nils Eekhoff at the men’s U23 road race. The rider was disqualified for sheltering behind a vehicle (4.7. of article 2.12.007) for over two minutes. The maximum sanction provided by the article was considered appropriate to the time spent sheltering.
“The decision was taken by the commissaires’ panel after the race based on images from a moto camera available to the UCI video commissaire. Race officials have reviewed the images, followed due process by hearing the rider and team before making the decision.”
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Eekhoof and two other riders were disqualified from the race for drafting behind their team cars.
Italy’s Alexander Konychev and Andreas Nielsen (Denmark) were disqualified alongside Eekhoff, while the Dutch, Italian and Danish teams were fined 200 Swiss francs (£164) each.
Samuele Battistella of Italy, who had finished second in the seven-up sprint that decided the race, was promoted to gold medal winner, Stefan Bissegger (Switzerland) took silver and Britain’s Tom Pidcock was bumped up to third.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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