Aus­tralian ex­pelled for head-butt to op­po­nent

Course di­rec­tor says penalty nec­es­sary for in­ci­dent in fi­nal sprint

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Jamey Keaten

BOURG-LES-VA­LENCE, France — In the fren­zied and dan­ger­ous mass sprints at the Tour de France, com­peti­tors of­ten need to keep their heads.

Mark Ren­shaw de­cided to use his.

The Aus­tralian lead-out man for sprint spe­cial­ist Mark Cavendish was kicked out of the race af­ter head-butting a ri­val Thurs­day, which cleared a path for his Bri­tish team­mate to win his third stage at this year’s Tour.

“This is cy­cling. It’s not wrestling,” said course di­rec­tor JeanFran­cois Pescheux, who called Ren­shaw’s ag­gres­sive tac­tics “fla­grant” and the pun­ish­ment nec­es­sary.

“There are rules to re­spect,” Pescheux said.

Andy Sch­leck of Lux­em­bourg re­tained the yel­low jersey and rode con­ser­va­tively dur­ing the 114.6mile ride from Sis­teron to Bour­gles-Va­lence so that he could save his en­ergy for tough climbs in the Pyre­nees dur­ing the fi­nal week.

The 25-year-old race leader cruised into the fin­ish in the main pack af­ter rid­ing part of the stage dis­cussing a vacation with his main ri­val, de­fend­ing cham­pion Al­berto Con­ta­dor.

“It was quiet, and we can act like nor­mal peo­ple,” Sch­leck said through a trans­la­tor. “So we spoke about — we re­mem­bered — our hol­i­days.”

Lance Arm­strong, who has al­ready ruled him­self out of con­tention for the ti­tle, lost time for the sec­ond straight day. He fin­ished in 114th place, 29 sec­onds be­hind the pack, and is 17:51 be­hind Sch­leck in 32nd place over­all.

This stage had peo­ple talk­ing about the fin­ish.

With the sprint­ers’ teams bar­rel­ing to­ward the fin­ish at about 40 miles per hour, Ren­shaw rammed his head three times into the shoul-

Mark Ren­shaw Cy­clist said he was sur­prised by race jury’s de­ci­sion to dis­qual­ify him.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.