Chris Froome says 93 riders outside the Vuelta time cut should have been eliminated

Froome says the riders who finished more than 22 minutes past the time cut on stage 15 should have been eliminated by the commissaires, including his teammates

Photo: Yuzuru Sunada
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Chris Froome says he thinks the 93 cyclists – including all of his Sky teammates – who missed the time cut in Sunday's stage 15 of the Vuelta a España, should have been eliminated from the race.

The short 118.5-kilometre stage exploded when favourites Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) and race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) attacked in the first 10 kilometres. As a result, speeds were high and many cyclists were left behind.

See more

Froome suffered without his teammates and lost 2-43 to Quintana. His teammates and many others were 53-54 minutes behind stage winner – enough to be eliminated from the race. The jury, however, called a meeting with the organiser and teams' representatives afterwards and decided it was best to keep the riders in the race for cycling's image.

"I didn't make that decision that was the jury," Froome said. "We weren't the only team with the riders behind, there were 90 riders back. Direct Energie wouldn't have any riders left.

>>> Riders react to Vuelta a España time cut incident

"Personally, I think the rule probably should have been upheld, but I understand the jury's decision and it's up to them to make that decision. If the rule is there, it is there for a reason."

The rule, had the jury applied it, would only leave 71 riders to contest the remainder of the Vuelta a España. The race stopped on Tuesday for its second of two rest days and continues with five more stages starting Wednesday.

"It would've been a negative image for cycling," read a jury statement after the stage.

Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx–Quick-Step) won the stage in just over 2 hours, 45 minutes, which put the time cut at 31-24 minutes.

The time cut would have seen the majority of teams lose riders including Sky, Cofidis, LottoNL-Jumbo, Bora-Argon 18, Dimension Data, Lotto-Soudal, BMC Racing, Etixx-Quick Step, FDJ, Orica-BikeExchange, Giant-Alpecin, IAM Cycling and Katusha.

Other riders sided with Froome. Italian Moreno Moser wrote on Twitter, "What about the guys who went full gas, alone, until the finish line?"

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

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.