Cycling’s international governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale, has opened disciplinary proceedings against Team RadioShack after the US squad breached regulations governing team clothing during the last stage of the Tour de France on Sunday.

Lance Armstrong, Chris Horner, Levi Leipheimer and the RadioShack team appeared at the start line for Sunday’s final stage of the 2010 Tour wearing black kit with the number 28 emblazoned on the back to denote the number of people in millions currently suffering with cancer around the world.

The clothing change was in keeping with Armstrong’s aim of raising awareness of cancer sufferers’ plight as part of his LiveStrong cancer initiative. However, a change of kit within a competition without prior approval is strictly against UCI regulations.

The team were allowed to continue through the neutral zone wearing the black kit, but were then forced to change into the usual red-and-grey RadioShack strip for the remainder of the stage. This caused a considerable delay to the stage as the race waited for the change in clothing.

When the squad appeared on the podium after the stage finish on the Champs Elysees in Paris to receive the team prize, they had returned to wearing the black strip once more – against regulations.

The actions of the UCI commissaires attracted the ire of RadioShack team manager Johan Bruyneel, who openly condemned the response to the change in team clothing.

“Ok people! Now it’s official! To be a race commisar [sic], you don’t need brains but only know the rules! Their motto: ‘c’est le reglement!'” Bruyneel said via his internet Twitter account.

Lance Armstrong, Tour de France 2010, stage 20



Armstrong meets fans on Sunday wearing the ‘illegal’ black kit

The UCI statement read:

The International Cycling Union (UCI) wishes to announce that disciplinary proceedings will be opened against Team RadioShack, for breaching the regulations governing riders’ clothing.

The UCI regrets that an initiative for a cause as worthy as the fight against cancer was not coordinated beforehand with the Commissaires and organisers of the event. This could have been done whilst remaining within the rules.

Team RadioShack’s incorrect behaviour led to a 20-minute delay to the start of the final stage, which could have disrupted the televised coverage of the race, placing the Commissaires under the obligation to impose a fine on each rider and the team managers.

Team RadioShack subsequently breached the regulations by wearing an incorrect uniform on the podium for the protocol ceremony having been instructed not to.

The UCI also deplores the declarations made by Mr Johan Bruyneel who gravely offended all the Commissaires working in cycling. His remarks are utterly unacceptable, and Mr Bruyneel will be called upon to answer for his comments before the UCI Disciplinary Commission.

As the action of Team RadioShack was inspired by the desire to raise public awareness of the breadth of the global fight against cancer, the UCI has decided that any fines levied as a result of this matter would be donated to the Ligue suisse contre le cancer.

 

  • Dangle

    Why didn’t Radioshack ride the whole tour in their black jersey….because not having made any impact overall and failing to make any real impact on the podium, the ego needed to be seen….it was clearly not a stunt to promote cancer research….time to say thanks and goodbye to LA, the sport needs to move on

  • old hedgey

    The ‘committee’ always gets its man. I hope they keep the fines money and spend it on a night on the Lausanne tiles. Bruyneel’s arrogance just beggars belief don’t you think? watchout for ‘Sine Die’ – the triue history of cycling governing bodies -available in local bookshops Spring 2011

  • Baz

    I fear George may be right; I had a similar thought myself – Palin and Armstong, the Nightmare ticket…

  • Mike

    Marco Pantani gave millions of his own money to charity and didnt feel the need to shout, look at me, look at me.
    As he was reported as saying “Good work should be done quietly”

  • George

    Lance Armstrong for President of the US of A! Wait sand see….

  • John Dee

    As usual the UCI shut the door after the horse has bolted!
    Having a guilty conscience from their involvement with Lance in the good times they now choose to massively over react to what is a relatively minor offence. How on earth do the football teams go on with all their various changes of kit!!
    Come on UCI do some real rule making and stop DQ riders like Mark Renshaw and stop being petty as in this particular case.

  • Baz

    Good. It was a disgraceful stunt. He may (or may not) be hanging up his racing wheels but his ego and the predictability of the media will ensure we have to suffer him for a while longer

  • Mike

    Sadly its typical of Lances disregard for anyone and anything that wont fit in with his plans for planet Armstrong.
    We all know why he came back, he missed the limelight, and any publicity is good publicity.
    Companies pay a fortune to advertise at the Tour. Imagine if a prmiership team changed its kit at half time to advertise something else?
    Wake up Lance, you cant simply do anything you want.
    And Bryneel bad mouthing the commisaires? that guy is realy off his trolley. Its about time he started thinking for himself and stopped indulging Mr Armstrongs every whim.

  • Jon

    At least they hit the headlines for something other than doping allegations. I would be surprised if they had not anticipated a response from the UCI – any fine or sanction short of banning them from next year’s Tour de France won’t affect them much and the publicity is worth more to them.

  • John

    Shame the UCI are not as quick to act in doping issues!

  • John

    Who cares what the UCI thinks, bunch of muppets.

    Great work by Radioshack to break the ‘rules’ Plenty of coverage given to ’28’

    Well done Lance and the boys, you all ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ian

    Whilst i support Lance and also wear one of the LAF wristbands, and admire all they do to raise awareness on Cancer, i was extremely disappointed at the actions on the delay, this could of been avoided if they had seeked permission.
    I like many others were on the Champs Elsee, waiting to see the Tour, and due to train times, i missed the tour passing the full amount of times! Thanks Lance

  • Simon

    This is a great shame. There’s no doubt that LA has done a lot of good through his Livestrong initiative, but this episode was not handled at all well by him. It smacks of pure arrogance, and Bruyneel’s ‘tweet’ is nothing more than pure rudeness. The rules must be respected – regardless. To turn up on the podium wearing the black once again was childish. The Tour has been good to Lance, and generally Lance has been good to the Tour. But goodbye now Lance, and please can you take Bruyneel with you?

  • Matthew Betts

    Maybe Lance could donate another one of those Sysmex machines by way of apology…

    Or even another scanner to look for electric motors.

  • heedypo

    While it is undeniably the case that rules are rules and should be applied equitably across all the teams taking part, the idea that you would fine a team for their intention is to raise awareness of cancer and then give the proceeds to a cancer charity seem like a trip through the looking glass.

    Clearly Radioshack should have OK’ed the strip change with the UCI – and I have no idea whether they tried – but you have to question the PR skills of the UCI in their handling of this episode.

  • adam

    The UCI are never going to come out of this looking good since the cause is so obviously a noble one…. and it feels like such a minor offense. But no rider and no team is not above the sport. Armstrong managed to bend the rules to compete in the Tour Down Under, so maybe this is just a reminder to him that he’s not bigger than the Tour?

  • Matt

    TDF is a competitive event, I’m guessing in a peleton approaching 180 riders, team strip is important for knowing who’s who, whatever team you’re riding for.

    Radioshack are not above the rules. All they had to do was get clearance in advance. (Did they try?)