• Jumbo-Visma directeur-sportif Merijn Zeeman. (@noordholland Twitter)Source: @noordholland Twitter
Team Jumbo-Visma will be without directeur-sportif Merijn Zeeman for the rest of the 2020 Tour de France, after he was expelled from the race following an altercation with a UCI official during a bike check after Stage 17.
By
SBS Cycling Central

18 Sep 2020 - 6:54 AM  UPDATED 18 Sep 2020 - 8:18 PM

The decision was announced in the jury report published following Stage 18, and indicated the bike check was that of yellow jersey leader Primož Roglič.

Zeeman was cited in the report for "intimidation, insults, improper behavior by a member of a team towards a UCI official during the bicycle check carried out at the end of stage 17,” in accordance with article 8.2.2 of the UCI.

Advantage Roglič over Pogačar in battle for yellow
The summit finish of the Col de la Loze on Stage 17 of the Tour de France was as hard as expected, with the steep slopes and altitude coming into play as Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) duelled it out for the yellow jersey.

Zeeman was also fined 2,000 Swiss Francs for his behaviour to go with his expulsion.

The UCI revealed the incident transpired during the examination of Roglič's bike for technological fraud, something the governing body has prioritised in recent years.

"The commissaires found that Mr. Zeeman behaved in an unacceptable manner towards the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) staff responsible for carrying out an X-ray control and then dismantling the Yellow Jersey bike at the finish of the stage at Col de la Loze in accordance with UCI regulations relating to the fight against technological fraud," A statement from the UCI said.

"As a result, Mr. Zeeman was excluded from the event and fined CHF 2,000. The UCI has made the fight against technological fraud one of its priorities to ensure the credibility of the results, and calls on all cycling families (riders, teams and organizers) to join forces to ensure the reputation of our sport."

One of Jumbo-Visma's key staffers, Zeeman will surely be missed as the team pushes to ensure Roglič finishes on top as the Tour enters the last three stages.

The 2020 Tour de France continues with the 166km Stage 19 from Bourg-en-Bresse to Champagnole that could decide the green jersey. Watch on SBS HD and SBS On Demand from 9:30pm AEST and the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker from 9:20pm AEST.