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Officials expel three Tour of Utah riders for towing

SALT LAKE CITY (VN) — The race officials had a busy day at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah during a searing stage 3. There was a flurry of fines and violations, most notably three disqualifications.

Chief commissaire Pierre Blanchard ejected and fined Rabobank’s Tom Slagter from the tour for holding onto his team vehicle. Rabobank has also lost one of its two team cars for the duration of the race due to the violation and officials fined manager Frans Maassen.

Rider Jonas Ahlstrand (Argos-Shimano) and his manager Marc Reef suffered the same fate as the Rabobank men, and Matt Brammeier (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was tossed from the race as well for “holding onto some other motor vehicle” other than his team’s. Ahlstrand was slapped on the wrist for “brief pacing behind a vehicle” before his ejection.

Stage 3 was not particularly difficult on the profile, but the day’s heat and early climb — the Cat. 2 North Ogden Pass — put riders under pressure early. The official communiqué paints a picture of myriad riders just trying to survive at the back of the race.

There were nine noted violations for anything from the common “sticky bottle” to the aforementioned motor-pacing. Exergy, Competitive Cyclist, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies and Champion System each earned penalties, though none lost riders.