• Tsatevich won't be taking to the startline for Stage 10. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Katusha have taken the extreme decision to send rugged sprinter Alexey Tsatevich home from the Giro after the rider was fined by the commissaires for drafting Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant-Alpecin) in the Stage 9 time trial.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Katusha Team
17 May 2016 - 8:13 AM  UPDATED 17 May 2016 - 8:15 AM

The UCI race commissaires decided to penalize Alexey Tsatevich, according to UCI Article 12.1.040/40.1 (Failure to respect regulation distances and gaps between riders [slip-streaming]) with a 100 Swiss francs fine and a 6 minutes 48 seconds penalty in the stage classification. Team Katusha however judged that this measure was not enough for such poor and unacceptable behavior and pulled the rider out of the race.
Katusha Sports Director Dmitry Konyshev commented in the press release sent out by the team announcing the decision.

Rider Reactions: Winners and Losers
Primoz Roglic gave LottoNL-Jumbo a stage win today in the Giro d’Italia’s Chianti time trial. The Slovenian went 10 seconds faster than Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling) over 40.5 kilometres, before the rain came down to slow a number of the later finishers.
Primoz Roglic wins rain-affected Giro d'Italia trial
And the pink jersey fairytale continues for Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-Quickstep) who held on to the race lead by one second.

"First of all, on behalf of Team Katusha, I would like to apologize for Alexey Tsatevich’s behavior during the time trial. The way Tsatevich rode yesterday’s stage was absolutely unacceptable.

"First of all, he broke the clear rule, known by every professional rider. In addition, he also showed a great lack of respect for his rival, the rider who caught him on the course. Moreover, he absolutely ignored the team plan for the day, provided and requested by the sports director."

"His behavior has a huge and negative impact on the image of cycling in general and Team Katusha in particular. Accepting the commissaires penalty was not enough for us; we had to take more severe measures. It is not easy to enter the second week of the race with just 8 riders, but I am convinced we’ve made the right decision."

 

 

With the fine of only 100 Swiss francs and the time penalty meaningless as Tsatevich isn't the sort of rider to figure on the general classification, it was up to Katusha to impose a penalty that would affect the rider and the race. Social media has supported the Russian team's hard stance, with most of the responses seeming to be positive at this early stage.

Tsatevich is also known as an abrasive personality within the peloton and it is likely that this is another reason behind the fiery Russian's dismissal. Tsatevich released a statement on his personal website after the team announced the decision.

"I am very upset about this situation. During all race I tried to show good results. I fell several times, I got up and continued race again, through feeling of pain, in order to be useful to team."

"On my feelings during ITT, I keep a distance. The judge didn't warn me about violation of a distance, and so, I continued the race. Also, I want to note, that I didn't ignore the requirement and request of the sporting director."

"Anyway, I wish good luck to guys! I will support team at home as the viewer. I apologize for the inconvenience."

Tsatevich was far from the only rider drafting during the time trial, so it will be interesting to see if other teams follow Katusha's hardline. See below as Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data) hugs the wheel of Stefan Kung (BMC).