SD Worx boss Danny Stam thrown off Tour de France Femmes for "dangerous" actions and "inappropriate comments"

The Dutchman had paced Demi Vollering back to the bunch after a puncture, overtaking cars and riders

Danny Stam at SD Worx team presentation wearing a suit
(Image credit: Getty)

SD Worx directeur sportif Danny Stam has been excluded from the Tour de France Femmes after race commissaires reviewed video footage of him pacing Demi Vollering back to the peloton after a puncture on stage five.

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Vollering had already been fined 100 CHF (£90) and given a 20-second time penalty for drafting Stam's car, as it overtook others in the convoy on the way back to the peloton. Stam himself had also been fined 200 CHF (£180). The team had protested, and Stam had reacted strongly, questioning the commissaires' ability to lead the race – an aggravating factor, it seems, in their decision to eject him from the race.

In a statement the UCI said it had decided to exclude Stam and increase his fine to 500 CHF (£450). The statement read: "After careful and lengthy review of the available TV footage, which clearly shows the particularly dangerous nature of Mr Stam's overtaking of other cars and riders… and in view of the inappropriate comments."

Stam, a long-time manager at the team, said that the punishment was unfair but that he would have to accept it.

"What can I say? It won't change much," he told Sporza. "I have to accept it. The UCI always has the last word."

"I have not been given a clear reason, he added. "They have only told me that I cannot continue. They did not think my action yesterday was possible. I have not yet reviewed the images, no. I know very well what I have done. In my In our eyes it was not such a strange action, but opinions are divided on that.

"I'm not allowed to be in the car anymore, but I'll stay here. I think I'm still here enough can have value."

The incident took place with around 65 kilometres remaining of yesterday's lumpy stage five to Albi. Vollering and Stam were warned by a motorcycle commissaire to stop the drafting – after which, the Dutchwoman said, she left her own team car and rode up through the convoy back to the bunch.

SD Worx was already protesting last night after the initial time penalty and fine, with DS Anna Van Der Breggen saying in a statement: “It is the first time I have experienced such a punishment. The moment the commissaire indicated we should stop, Demi rode from car to car herself back to the tail of the peloton. Therefore, for Demi, this punishment is unjustified.”

The 20-second penalty sees Vollering sink from second place on GC behind her team-mate and race leader Lotte Kopecky to seventh, and she has also been docked 10 points in the mountains classification.

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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.