Riding is Life


SD Worx manager Danny Stam has been booted off the Tour de France Femmes

After reviewing the TV footage, the commissaires sent Stam packing.

SD Worx sports director Danny Stam has been kicked off the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift after a review of his role in assisting Demi Vollering back to the bunch in yesterday’s stage 5.

In a press release on the morning of stage 6, the UCI announced that, upon further deliberation, its commissaires’ panel officiating at the race had decided to eject Stam from the Tour.

“After careful and lengthy review of the available TV footage, which clearly shows the particularly dangerous nature of Mr Stam’s overtaking of other cars and riders during stage 5 of the event, and in view of the inappropriate comments made by Mr Stam to the UCI Commissaires’ Panel, the Panel has imposed the following penalties on the Sport Director … a fine of 500 Swiss francs and exclusion from the event.”

Stam pushed back on the decision but did accept the punishment. “I think it’s a bit strange. It’s a heavy punishment,” he told Sporza. “What can I say? It won’t change much. I have to accept it. The UCI always has the last word.”

“I haven’t received a clear reason,” Stam continued. “They only told me that I cannot continue. They didn’t approve of my actions from yesterday. I haven’t rewatched the footage yet, no. I know very well what I did. In my eyes, it wasn’t such a strange action, but opinions are divided on that.”

It is not clear what Stam said to the commissaire’s panel but in the aftermath of yesterday’s stage his colleagues were outspoken about the penalties received, including a 20-second penalty for GC leader Demi Vollering In her post-race press conference, race leader Lotte Kopecky said “Demi getting 20 seconds for this reason is a bit bullshit, I think. I mean, if you get dropped then I think it’s normal that no one should bring you back. But if you have a mechanical then … I mean, this happens all the time.”

In a team press release, sports director Anna van der Breggen was similarly critical.

“The penalty makes it seem that we are doing something completely unheard of, while in reality riders return behind the car every day,” she said. “It makes sense that you don’t bring your rider back after she was dropped. But everyone understands that a team leader tries to help his rider after a breakdown.

“That is why bringing back behind the car a rider who has been knocked back for that reason is usually tolerated. It’s the first time I’ve experienced such a punishment.”

The team released a statement prior to Friday’s stage:

“We are surprised that the UCI imposes this penalty, but accept this measure. Perhaps in the first moment we reacted a little too emotionally to Demi Vollering’s time penalty. Too bad this happened. With Anna van der Breggen as first sport director, we will continue the race and go back to focusing fully on the race itself as soon as possible. Our mission remains the same and that is to win the Tour de France Femmes. Everyone is more than 100 per cent motivated to go for that in the coming days.”

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