• Bjorg Lambrecht (2nd left) was benched due to a technical rule imposed by the UCI. (Getty)Source: Getty
Bjorg Lambrecht has joined Australians Chris Harper and Cyrus Monk in missing out on his Tour Down Under debut as confusion reigns over a rule.
Cycling Central

16 Jan 2018 - 8:42 AM  UPDATED 16 Jan 2018 - 8:45 AM

The Tour starts on Tuesday and Lotto-Soudal will be one rider down because Lambrecht is ineligible.

Lotto-Soudal appealed to cycling's world governing body - the UCI - but said on Monday they had not received a definite answer and so would not risk starting Lambrecht.

It was to be Lambrecht's WorldTour debut.

Last week, it emerged that rising Australian stars Chris Harper and Cyrus Monk could not join the composite UniSA team for the Tour, because of a bungle relating to the same rule change.

It involves the UCI tightening the rules surrounding the biological passport anti-doping test regime.

Now any rider can start in a WorldTour race, such as the Tour Down Under, only if he has been in the testing pool for six weeks.

UniSA-Australia loads up on veteran talent for TDU after CA misstep
Cycling Australia today named the seven riders who will make up the UniSA-Australia squad for the Santos Tour Down Under with some missing the cut due to miscommunication over a change to the UCI anti-doping rules.

Harper and Monk missed out because of an administrative mix-up, where the UCI apparently told Cycling Australia (CA) of the impending rule change last March.

But no one in charge at CA was made aware of the change until the UCI sent a reminder in December - less than six weeks before the Tour was to start.

Lotto-Soudal issued a media release on Monday, saying Lambrecht did not receive his online log-in details for the whereabouts system until mid-December - again, too late for the Tour Down Under.

He will be eligible to start in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road race at the end of the month.

"We came to Australia a week ago, I felt good in the group, was looking forward to my first pro season and then it's a huge disappointment when you hear you can't start," Lambrecht said.

"But of course we can't take any risk."

CA found out about the problem in time to replace Harper and Monk in the UniSA team.

The 20th Tour Down Under team starts on Tuesday with a 145km stage from Port Adelaide to Lyndoch in the Barossa Valley.