On today’s stage of the Vuelta a Espana, one of the pre-race favourites, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), was caught behind a big crash and had to chase back to the peloton.
He eventually made it back but lost a big chunk of time on the final climb. However, his chase back was not as it seemed, as he was caught on camera getting a tow from his team car.
During the chase, he had been part of a big group. One of the Astana team cars pulls up alongside him as he leads the chase back, and Nibali suddenly accelerates and pulls away quickly from the rest of the group.
It’s unclear from the footage how long the tow goes on for. The president of the race jury, Bruno Valcic, later announced that Nibali was being ejected from the race. Valcic said: “The rules are clear. Nibali is now disqualified from the race.”
It’s not the first instance this season of a cyclist being thrown out of a race for taking a tow. In this year’s An Post Rás, Francesco Reda was disqualified for the same reason. Reda finished second to Nibali in the Italian Championships in June.
Check out the footage here: