Road.cc are reporting that the UCI’s management committee has voted to block the use of any form of alternative accommodation during stage races “to reaffirm absolute fairness between all riders.” This means that Chris Froome will not be sleeping in the Team Sky motorhome at this year’s Tour de France as had been planned.
Team Sky’s somewhat controversial plan to use a motorhome for their team leader in place of a hotel has been scuppered by a recent ruling. An amendment to UCI rules now reads:
“In all road stage races on the international calendar the organisers must cover the subsistence expenses of the teams from the night before the start to the final day; riders must stay in the hotels provided by the organiser throughout the entire duration of the race. The decision was made in order to reaffirm absolute fairness between all riders.”
Sir Dave Brailsford had previously said that he anticipated Froome would use the team’s Winnebago-style truck to sleep in during the Tour. He described Richie Porte as the guinea pig, after the Tasmanian slept in it during this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Brailsford said that here had been more positives than negatives from the experiment and claimed that not having to pack and unpack in hotels every night was one simple benefit. “We worked out how much time it would save us if we did not do that and it worked out nearly a day – about 21 to 22 hours on our team bus. Instead you can sleep in the same bed and create a better environment for recovery.”
While many rival teams were less than impressed with this new development, Froome seems to have been keen. On Friday, he tweeted a photograph of when he had once slept on the floor during the Tour de France, implying there would be ‘more of that this year’. Shortly afterwards, he retweeted a photo of the cramped bunk beds reportedly used by Andreas Kloden and Gregory Rast in the 2010 Tour.