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Paris-Roubaix: the Train Controversy

First off, let me clarify that the decision was that of the UCI Commissaires, not the race organizers. In fact, LeBlanc himself is now on record saying no harm, no foul. Anyway, we all know what the problem is. The question, though, is whether anything will be done. CyclingNews:

Marc Sergeant, Davitamon-Lotto director, and Johan Bruyneel (Discovery Channel) are now considering submitting a complaint against the UCI because of the train incident. "The decision isn't human," Sergeant told Het Nieuwsblad on Monday morning. "We lose an important podium placing and a whole lot of ProTour points. I do feel bitter. I don't have a problem with the rules, but if Van Petegem, Hoste and Gussev are disqualified, why wasn't Boonen? It's a question of principle."

Indeed, Boonen and his companions Ballan (Lampre) and Flecha (Rabobank) of the second chase group also crossed the rails when the barriers were still down, but the train had already passed.

If anyone has time to comb through the UCI appeal procedures, check them out here yourself or go below the fold, I've pasted the appeals section. Not that they say anything.

Update [2006-4-10 15:4:9 by chris]: Van Petegem claims he accepts the decision, though that's just his sort of proud statement as opposed to any final team plan. His DS may still want those Pro Tour points.

Appeals Board

12.2.022 Unless otherwise stipulated, an appeal may be lodged with the Appeals Board against decisions of the UCI Disciplinary Commission.

12.2.023 The appeal shall be lodged within thirty days of the communication of the decision handed down.

12.2.024 The appeal shall be brought, as appropriate, against the UCI or, in the case of articles 12.2.028 and12.2.030, against the National Federation.

12.2.025 An appeal to the Appeals Board shall not suspend the enforcement of the decision already taken, save in the case of the application of article 12.2.031. Nevertheless the appellant may address to the Chairman of the Appeals Board a petition that the
effect be suspended.

As for those courses...

1.2.062 Without prejudice to provisions requiring an entirely closed circuit, all traffic shall be stopped on the course as the race passes through.

Then there are the Commissaires...

Powers of the commissaires' panel

1.2.126 The commissaires' panel shall verify that the specific race regulations comply with the present regulations. It shall rectify or have rectified any provisions that do not comply and shall mention that fact during the meeting with the organiser and team managers.

1.2.127 The commissaires' panel shall have any irregularity it may observe in the organisation of the race rectified.

1.2.128 The commissaires shall note infringements and impose penalties in matters within their authority. Each commissaire shall individually observe infringements and note them in a report bearing his signature. Commissaires' reports shall constitute conclusive evidence of the facts they observe, in the absence of proof to the contrary. Penalties shall be imposed by the commissaires' panel by a majority vote.

1.2.129 Moreover each of the commissaires shall be individually entitled to take the following measures:

1. to refuse to allow riders to start who do not comply with the regulations or who are manifestly not in any condition to participate in the race;

2. to give warnings and to inflict an admonition;

3. to immediately remove from the competition a rider who commits a serious fault, who is manifestly not in any condition to continue the competition, who has dropped so far behind as not to be able to catch up again or who constitutes a danger to other persons.