• Did Chris Froome's skinsuit gove him a competitive advantage? (Getty)Source: Getty
After their dominant stage one time trial performance Team Sky have come under fire for their jerseys at the Tour de France.
Cycling Central

3 Jul 2017 - 5:26 AM  UPDATED 7 Jul 2017 - 3:05 PM

Tension was building up around Team Sky after two days on the Tour de France as rival teams complained that the jerseys they used for the opening time trial had been designed to illegally boost aerodynamics.

The British team put four riders in the top eight of Saturday's opening time trial, with Geraint Thomas taking the race leader's yellow jersey.

Little bubble pads were seen on the upper arms on the jerseys of several Team Sky riders, including that of defending champion Chris Froome.

International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations state: "Garments must not be adapted in any way such that they diverge from their use purely as clothing. The addition of any non-essential element or device to clothing is prohibited."

"It is an actual part of the jersey, it was not added," race jury president Philippe Marien said on Sunday.

"We summoned the team's sports directors to check the jerseys. Nothing was added to them."

Some teams, however, were not happy with the jury's view.

At least two rival teams had complained about the Team Sky jerseys ahead of Sunday's 203.5-km ride to Liege.

"It's enhanced aerodynamics and the regulations forbid it," said Frederic Grappe, performance director at the FDJ team.

"According to studies, the estimated gain is about four to seven per cent. It's huge."

One of the coaches at Richie Porte's Team BMC Racing, Marco Pinotti, said he could live with the ruling.

"It seems to me this 'equipment' is on the border line with the rules but if it's judged compliant with the rules then I accept it," Pinotti said.

While some believe Team Sky are bending the rules, their sports director Nicolas Portal said they were 'working' them.

"There are other teams who have been using it. Other big teams have been using it," the Frenchman said.

"It's legal. Everybody knows the rules. It does not give you a big advantage but it's those little things... so why not use them?

"Everything has been validated. We would not take the risk to cheat and lose everything on the first day. We abide by the rules. Every team needs to work on the rules."

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