As reported by the newspaper As, Merijn zeeman, one of the directors of the Jumbo-Visma team, has been excluded from the competition by a decision of the commissioners' jury at the end of the seventeenth stage.
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The Jumbo is the team of Tour leader Primoz Roglic.
Zeeman, in the Jumbo since 2012, will have to pay a fine of 2.000 Swiss francs, (about 1.900 euros) for a lack of «intimidation, name calling and misconduct » towards a member of the International Cycling Union (UCI).
The acts that have excluded Zeeman occurred during the routine check carried out at the end of the stage, which is in charge of checking that the bicycles do not hide the use of any motor or illegal element.
Ik heb me gister verbaal niet correct gedragen tov een UCI-commissaris die een fiets control wilde doen bij de fiets van onze leider Primoz. Ik ben boos geworden omdat de commissaris zelfstandig de bracket van de fiets van Primoz wilde demonteren.
- Merijn Zeeman (@merijnzeeman) September 17, 2020
Zeeman apologizes: 'I should have been calm; I am devastated »
The director of the Jumbo-Visma related what happened to the UCI member on his Twitter account:
«Yesterday I did not behave properly with a UCI commissioner who wanted to do a review of the bike of our leader Primoz.
I got angry because the commissioner wanted to independently disassemble Primoz's bike mount »
Primoz's bike was damaged during this teardown. Despite this incident, I should have remained calm and respectfully approached the UCI Commissioner.
I'm sorry I didn't do this. After this incident, I immediately apologized to the UCI commissioner in question, who also accepted my apology. I am devastated, but our yellow dream lives on ».
The team's reaction
Reaction to Merijn Zeeman's exclusion from Tour de France⤵️
- Team Jumbo-Visma cycling (@JumboVismaRoad) September 17, 2020
The team has released a statement in its Web page explaining what happened
Merijn Zeeman was present at the helm of Primoz Roglic's bike after the 17th stage.
An argument broke out with the UCI employee when the crankset was removed from the bicycle. The bike was damaged and the crankset had to be replaced later.
The altercation that took place during that control gave the UCI a reason to severely sanction Merijn. Merijn apologized on the spot and, like the team, regrets that the discussion has become so heated.
To be clear: the control showed that the bike of the leader of the general, Roglic, was complying with the regulations.
Zeeman: “I got mad when the commissioner removed the cranks from Primoz's bike. We defend fair sport and that includes controls, but that must be done in a reasonable way. Despite that, I should have kept calm and approached the UCI commissioner in a more respectful way.
Merijn may continue to be a part of Team Jumbo-Visma's Tour de France squad in France, but for the remaining three stages he will no longer perform official duties within the accredited areas of the race.