Lotto-Soudal sprinter Caleb Ewan and Alpecin-Deceuninck have been fined by race organisers for executing an unacceptable drafting manoeuvre on Stage 13 of the Tour de France.
After a heavy crash which left Ewan injured and the entire Lotto-Soudal team temporarily grounded, the Australian sprinter was desperate to get back in touch with the race and was seen to have drafted off the Alpecin-Deceuninck car.
Ewan has been fined 200 CHF, one minute and 10 points in the general classification as well as one point in the mountain classification, adding insult to injury on a forgettable day.
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Alpecin-Deceuninck did not escape unscathed either, with Christoph Roodhooft receiving a 500CHF fine.
Michel Cornelisse, the driver of the Alpecin-Deceuninck car, was frustrated by the outcome, saying "I couldn't drive faster there".
Cornelisse defended his actions, and added: "There were motorcycles in front of me and Ewan was already reaching a speed of 80km per hour. [The commissar] has no feelings or anything. It was not a rider from my own team who was behind my car and that boy had fallen. He was not released.”
The crash occurred when Ewan's team Lotto-Soudal were leading the peloton in an attempt to keep a breakaway group in check.
After the day's racing was completed, Ewan said: "I felt really good actually and that’s why we committed two guys to control the breakaway”.
It was particularly unfortunate for the crash to occur 71km from a rare sprint finish on this year's Tour. Green Jersey rival Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) claimed the final sprint into Saint-Etienne, ahead of Fred Wright (Bahrain-Victorious) and Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech).

'Excruciating pain' - Reaction to 'hammer blow' Ewan and Lotto-Soudal crash

After battling through the endless mountain stages, Ewan would have been delighted at the prospect of the sprint into the former industrial city. Instead, he now faces the prospect of riding hurt, or dropping out altogether.
Indeed, it remains to be seen whether Ewan will be able to continue, as he explained: "When you’re pretty warm, everything normally feels okay, but once I cool down a bit I’ll feel where I have pain.
"My knee is pretty sore, my shoulder is pretty sore, and it’s where I broke my collarbone last year. Hopefully it’s alright. Once I went down I didn’t feel as good anymore. I did a big chase to get back on, and then on the last climb I think they were going quite hard and I had nothing left."
The five-time stage winner at the Tour de France has endured rotten luck in the great races this year, suffering illness during the Milan-San Remo and crashing on the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia.
The Australian acknowledged his difficult run and said: "I feel like I can’t catch a break with my luck. It is what it is and it is part of being a cyclist. I’m having that now, but hopefully it turns soon. It’s a bit annoying for now.”

Stage 13 highlights: Pedersen storms to sprint victory after Ewan crash drama

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