(Reuters) - Team Jumbo-Visma said on Friday an International Cycling Union (UCI) official had damaged the bike of Tour de France overall leader Primoz Roglic during an inspection, which had prompted an angry response from the team’s sports director.
Merjin Zeeman was excluded from the race for intimidating and insulting a member of the UCI at the end of Thursday’s 17th stage.
“I got upset when the commissioner dismounted the crankset from Primoz’s bike,” Zeeman said in a team statement on Friday.
“The bike was damaged and the crankset had to be replaced afterwards,” the team said, adding, “the bike of GC leader Roglic was in accordance with the regulations.”
The UCI check several bikes after a race or a grand tour stage as part of efforts to fight ‘mechanical doping’.
“We stand for a fair sport and that includes checks, but that must be done in a reasonable way. Despite that, I should have kept myself cool and approached the UCI commissioner in a more respectful way,” said Zeeman.
According to the daily race jury report, Zeeman was excluded for intimidating and insulting the UCI official, and was also fined 2,000 Swiss Francs ($2,201.67).
($1 = 0.9084 Swiss francs)
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Peter Rutherford
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