One of the directors of Team Jumbo-Visma, Merijn Zeeman, has been expelled and removed from his duties for the remainder of Tour of Francia after a “heated” discussion with a member of the UCI during a control of the race leader’s bicycle, Primoz Roglic.

“Zeeman was present at the control of Primoz Roglic’s bike after the 17th stage. a discussion with the ICU employee in question when the crankset was removed from the bike. The bike was damaged and the crankset had to be replaced later, “the team explained.

Beyond not being able to act as director in the three remaining stages, Zeeman was sanctioned with a fine of about 1,900 euros for “intimidation, insults and misconduct” towards a member of the International Cycling Union (UCI).

According to the team, Zeeman apologized on the spot and, like the team, regrets that the discussion got “so heated.” “I got mad when the commissioner removed the crankset from Primoz’s bike,” he explained.

“We defend a fair sport and that includes controls, but they must be done in a reasonable way. Despite that, I should have kept calm and approached the UCI commissioner in a more respectful way,” acknowledged the director.

Merijn will be able to remain part of the team in the Tour de France, but during the remaining three stages he will no longer perform official directorial duties nor will he be able to be in the accredited areas of the race.