Caisse unhappy with Vuelta protocol

Caisse d'Epargne have complained about the lack of a presentation of the ProTour jersey to Alejandro

Caisse d'Epargne have complained about the lack of a presentation of the ProTour jersey to Alejandro

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

The Caisse d'Epargne team of Vuelta runner-up Alejandro Valverde have issued a statement condemning the lack of a presentation ceremony for the ProTour leader's jersey on the Vuelta's final podium in Madrid on Sunday. Valverde, who significantly improved his lead in the ProTour rankings, was not presented with the competition's leader's jersey because of the ongoing dispute between the major tours and the International Cycling Union over the structure of the series.

In their statement, Caisse d'Epargne declared: "We regret the incoherence affecting the race organisers with regard to the rules of participation in the ProTour, which oblige the rider [leading the competition] to go through all the required ceremonies at the end of a race, and which led to a situation where the jersey of the UCI's ProTour leader was not handed over on the official podium."

With three one-day events left on the ProTour calendar - Championship of Zurich, Paris-Tours, Tour of Lombardy - Valverde now holds what seems like an unassailable advantage over second-placed Cadel Evans of 123 points, with Andrei Kashechkin another six points back in third place. CSC maintained their lead in the team rankings, but they are now only eight points ahead of Caisse d'Epargne.

1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 285
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 162
3 Andrei Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana 156
4 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre 155
5 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 154
6 Frank Schleck (Lux) CSC 150
7 Ivan Basso (Ita) CSC 138
8 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner 133
9 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel 133
10 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 121

Team standings

1 CSC 333
2 Caisse d'Epargne 325
3 Rabobank 308
4 Discovery Channel 295
5 Lampre 280
6 Phonak 270
7 T-Mobile 267
8 Astana 252
9 Saunier Duval 252
10 Gerolsteiner 239

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