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Time penalty for Canadian James Piccoli caps off disappointing day in yellow at the Tour of Utah

Elevate-KHS rider docked 20 seconds for drafting after puncture

It was bad enough that James Piccoli lost his yellow jersey on Tuesday’s second stage of the Tour of Utah. Having flatted inside the final 10-seconds, his efforts to rejoin the peloton robbed him of energy to respond to a late move that contained Lawson Craddock (USA/EF Education First), whose gap gave him the race lead. However, after the stage the race jury docked the Canadian 20-seconds for drafting behind race cars.

At first he had only lost one place on GC but the penalty saw him falling to 13th, 26 seconds behind Craddock. Guillaume Boivin is now the best placed Canadian in seventh and 2017 champion Rob Britton is 12th. Piccoli takes the handicap into Wednesday’s first mountain stage.

Elevate-KHS’s manager Paul Abrams disagreed with the commissaires’ decision, explaining, “We changed his bike, then got him to the back of the convoy. He was behind our car for 10 seconds, and then you never saw us again.” He protested, “This is very standard stuff. There was nothing out of the ordinary about this. It’s disappointing, but James has a great attitude about it. The team and James are not going to let this be a distraction. But it does seem as though there are different rules for different people.”

Last year Lawson Craddock was the first American to win the lanterne rouge at the Tour de France. Svein Tuft memorably was the first Canadian lanterne rouge in 2013.