It seems that there’s not been a stage on this year’s Giro where some sort of drama hasn’t unfolded.



What was supposed to be a routine day for sprinters, instead saw a group of favourites chip off the front in the final 15 kilometres. But the real soap opera moment came from Cadel Evans. One of the few big names not to make the cut, he could be seen chasing at the front bunch before being involved in an on-the-bike altercation with Daniele Righi – whose team mate Damiano Cunego was in the break.



From helicopter pictures above, the pair could be seen exchanging blows.



Coming across the line, Evans was incensed.



“Righi made a mistake, he’s dangerous,” he said. “He went to the front and braked. You don’t do that.



“I don’t understand the sprinters teams,” he added. “First they pull but then they are not there in the final. I am not happy with how today’s stage went and, yeah, I have only a few team-mates.”



But according to Righi, Evans was the rider who started it.

“What was the issue? I was working for my team,” he told Cycling Weekly. “He did not like it, he put his hands on me and I defended myself. He has the World Champion’s jersey. He should give it respect and respect to others.”



Had Evans said anything to him?



“He did not talk. He put his hands on me and pulled me back. You need to always keep your hands on the bars, otherwise it is dangerous.”



When questioned why he thought Evans did this, Righi said: “Because I was up front, trying to slow down the chase.”



Asked if he’d been putting on the brakes, Righi denied it.



However, Robbie McEwen corroborated Evans’ version of events. After the pair came to a stop across the finish line in what appeared to be heated debate, McEwen sided with his compatriot and told him he had seen everything and would support him “100%” if he made a complaint.



“Everyone was trying to be at the front getting ready for that last little section, then Daniele Righi from Lampre – who was supposed to be doing a job for Hondo, but all he was doing was making a mess in the front – put the brakes on in front of Cadel then pushed him,” said McEwen. “Cadel leant back of course and then Righi just started to punch him in the mouth. So if they put in a complaint they’ll probably throw Righi of the race. You just don’t do that.”



Funnily enough, a couple of kilometres earlier, Evans had also been involved in a shoving match with McEwen’s Katusha team mate Luca Mazzanti. Katusha, too, had a rider in the front group in eventual stage winner Filippo Pozzato. Questioned on that incident, McEwen said he hadn’t seen it.



Of course all the he-said-she-said meant very little at the end of the day.



The final word went to the race jury who slapped a 2,000 Swiss franc penalty on both Evans and Righi for “unseemly behaviour for the image of cycling.”

Related links

Giro d’Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

2010 Giro d’Italia coverage in association with Zipvit

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  • Ria

    The Giro was great, the Tour of Calif. Boring. Cadel should not have been isolated for the advertising dollar! The owners must either field a stronger, bigger team or not split the riders in two groups–neither group rides strong enough for big stage races. I believe if Hencapie and Ballan were in the Giro…

  • Dkas

    2000 swiss franc fine for image of cycling? How bout stop letting dopers back into the sport after suspension. If you get caught doping you should be out for life period. Stupid officials

  • henry cooper

    i sympathize with cadel – his luck is atrocious and his team is never up to scratch. i hear he’s been really sick during the race as well. if i were cadel, i’d stuff that guy’s bidon up his…. jersey.

  • tourmalet

    ha ha – a “2,000 Swiss franc penalty on both Evans and Righi for “unseemly behaviour for the image of cycling.” by rights there should be fines all over the place given today’s events around Landis.

  • arronski

    That was so funny like a couple of boxing kangeroos going at it, Evans is so pissed right now!

  • adam m

    I think we can just all be grateful that no one went near his dog…. otherwise the real trouble would have started….