Team Sunweb make unusual decision to withdraw Frenchman Warren Barguil from the Vuelta a España after he "didn't conform to the team's goal"
The German-registered WorldTour team is evidently unhappy that the Frenchman has not followed the team’s plan at the final Grand Tour of the 2017 season and has ejected him.
The move is highly unusual, particularly given that Barguil was the highest-placed Sunweb rider in the Vuelta’s general classification, in 13th place and one minute and 43 seconds behind leader Chris Froome (Team Sky). Barguil lies one place and two seconds ahead of nominated Sunweb leader Wilco Kelderman, so Kelderman will now inherit his 13th place.
In a short statement issued prior to stage eight on Saturday, Sunweb said: “Team Sunweb have decided to withdraw Warren Barguil from the Vuelta a España.
“The 25-tear-old talented rider, recent winner of two stages and the mountain jersey at the Tour de France, openly expressed that he didn’t race conform to the team’s goal, which left Team Sunweb with no other option than to take this decision.”
“Working according to a team plan with clear goals is deeply anchored in the team’s way of working. Since 2008 this has been the basis of the gradual growth and success of Team Sunweb, therefore is a value that cannot be varied. The team appreciates Barguil’s openness about his motives at the Vuelta. ”
Barguil is quote as saying in the Sunweb statement: “I have to leave the Vuelta by the decision of the team. I feel very well and have good legs. I see myself in different a role and am eager to attack in the mountains, as I did in the Tour. The Vuelta is a great race and it is disappointing to leave but this is a decision from the team that I need to accept.”
Barguil is leaving Sunweb at the end of the 2017 season to join Fortuneo-Oscaro. Sunweb says that he will resume his planned race programme for the rest of the season.