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Annemiek van Vleuten won the road worlds but got fined for her sock length

The Dutch super star was also penalized for her speedsuit

Annemiek van Vleuten wrapped up her 2022 season with an incredible second elite women’s rainbow jersey Saturday at Wollongong 2022 in New South Wales, Australia, but the win cost her.

The Giro and Tour winner was already in a rough way when the race started as she was riding on a fractured elbow from a freak crash in the mixed relay days earlier.

To make things even more complicated, after 20 km the UCI jury told her that her skinsuit she was wearing was “too orange” and didn’t match the rest of her team, who were wearing a whiter and slightly differently textured national team kit. To comply, she put on a jersey on top of her speedsuit. For that infraction she was fined 500 Swiss francs. But that wasn’t the end of her jury woes.

Van Vleuten would go onto a stunning victory where she attacked from behind, sitting down the entire time as she couldn’t stand due to her elbow. But in the UCI communiqué that came after the race, she was fined another two hundo because her socks were too long. If you’ve got your UCI rulebook handy, that infraction is the ole article 1.3.033 for “maximum height of socks.” So she may have won, but she also got a bill for 700 Swiss francs after the race for those two whoopsies.

Much has been said about the UCI’s controversial sock rules since they were added to the rulebook for 2019. Some believe that it can contribute to an aerodynamic advantage, which is why the cycling body created a rule that said the sock or bootie can’t extend past the middle of the lower part of the leg.

Despite the fine, Van Vleuten got off relatively easily. In theory she could have been disqualified for said infraction, but it’s fairly certain not even the UCI would do something as ridiculous as oust the winner of the biggest one-day race of the year for socks.

Thankfully, this was the only controversy to befall the Dutch team at the road worlds this year.

Oh right.

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