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Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) has been relegated from first place on stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse after deviating from his line in the sprint to the line against Andreas Kron (Lotto Soudal).

The pair were fighting for the stage win after Costa’s late attack group caught the early break, which contained Kron, on the final climb to the finish line at Disentis-Sedrun. After some deliberation from the UCI commissaires following the stage, Kron was awarded victory and Costa was relegated to second place.

“I think that we’ll always be discussing about it when something like that happens,” Kron said after the finish. “Some guys say ‘ahh, you don’t go so much’ but in my opinion we started the sprint in the right and ended up on the left. That’s all I can say.

“I’d need to see the sprint myself, but we can say the jury have taken the decision and I trust the jury, and I’m the winner and I’m happy for it.

“Yesterday I was disappointed to miss out in the GC after my team had worked so good for me in the last day. It’s nice to give something back to all the riders. It’s for the team.”

Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain Victorious) had led the sprint out from the three-man lead group, with Costa and Kron coming past him at 150 metres to go. The Portuguese rider, who has won the Tour de Suisse three times in the past, swung from the right-hand side of the road to the left in the sprint, squeezing Kron and forcing him to take evasive action, even if he had left some room in the final metres.

The Dane swung up an arm of protest as the pair crossed the line, with the sprint finish swiftly coming under investigation by UCI commissaires present at the race.

The commissaire team reviewed the finish as the stage winner’s podium presentation delayed, coming to the conclusion that Costa’s sixth career win at the race was indeed in contravention to the rules. Instead, Kron took first place as Costa was relegated to last place in his group – second place.

Costa’s sprint had fallen foul of UCI regulation 2.3.036, which states that: ‘Riders shall be strictly forbidden to deviate from the lane they selected when launching into the sprint and, in so doing, endangering others.’ Penalties handed out alongside relegation include a 500CHF fine and a penalty of 25 per cent in the points or mountain classification.

Stage 5 winner Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) retains the race lead with two stages to go, rolling in with the general classification riders at 2:49 down on Kron and Costa.

SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
AUTHOR: Daniel Ostanek
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