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Can Armstrong be penalized for "Cutting" the switchback?(7 posts)

Can Armstrong be penalized for "Cutting" the switchback?El Guapo
Jul 14, 2003 7:45 AM
I know it sounds ridiculous, but stranger rulings have happened. Curious to see if LeBlanc will decide to institute some type of penalty since Armstrong did not return to the road at the point he exited. Please don't flame me, as I feel a penalty would be absurd. But, LeBlanc loves to institute penalties.
doubt it.sacheson
Jul 14, 2003 7:47 AM
He was forced into the dirt, and he didn't use it to gain and advantage on other racers.
Yeah and...Dwayne Barry
Jul 14, 2003 8:09 AM
the race commissares (LeBlanc has nothing to do with it, he is the race organizer not an official), almost always let things slide when it was unavoidable or to overcome a mechanical or crash. For instance riders chasing back from a crash, etc. always use the cars to draft and are never penalized. Typically you only get penalized when it's a lack of legs that is forcing you to "cheat".
definitelyFrith
Jul 14, 2003 8:53 AM
but one would hope that common sense would prevail in a situation like this. Speaking strictly technically I'm sure there are rules against short-cutting even the tiniest bit of the route. Other factors like safety and the fact that he didn't gain any time on anyone would make officials the look other way though.
Yo, taint like he hopped a cab...spyderman
Jul 14, 2003 2:52 PM
or hitched a ride with a team car, like we often see.

His sitch couldn't be avoided and he didn't gain any time doin' the MTB thang...

Not likely.
re: Can Armstrong be penalized for "Cutting" the switchback?Caseysdad
Jul 14, 2003 9:35 AM
Worst case scenario: Lance isn't penalized for this "offense" but ends up winning the tour by a margin of only a few seconds, leaving the door wide open to accusations that he didn't really WIN #5 - he cheated his way into it. Ultimately, that could haunt the rest of his career and taint any future accomplishments.

Not that I think that it will play out that way. I'm sure his margin of victory will be more than adequate to put to rest any such speculation. Still, there doesn't appear to be any shortage of non-fans who are eager to pounce at any opportunity to discredit Lance and I hate to see anything fuel their fires.

Personally, my layman's read of the situation is that it still took Lance longer to ride across the field and re-mount than it would have taken him to ride around on the road, so he didn't actually gain any kind of an advantage through what he did. Hence, no harm - no foul.

Whatever the outcome is, I'm just thankful that there was a field there for him to ride across. It could have been a much more serious situation had the same thing happened at any number of different points on the course.
Not penalized ...sacheson
Jul 14, 2003 11:33 AM
http://sports.yahoo.com/sc/news?slug=afp-cycling_fra_tour_fines&prov=afp&type=lgns

A breakdown of all the penalties today. Armstrong was deemed not to have benefited from his impromptu change of direction.