A Belgian junior rider was forced to ride on a different bike at the UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong as his one was deemed illegal by race officials.
Jens Verbrugghe, the son of Israel-Premier Tech director Rik, turned up to the time trial with a 53-tooth chainring which is above the UCI's gearing limit for junior riders.
As a result, Verbrugghe had to ride a bike from his national federation.
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Belgian reports said his Lapierre bike passed preliminary checks by officials, but the illegal gear was discovered in the final pre-race check just ten minutes before he was due to begin the time trial.
Verbrugghe, who won silver at the European Championships, finished way down in 26th place. He was visibly upset at the finish line with his head in his hands.
Belgian technical director Frederik Broche said Verbrugghe was "completely devastated".
"It's a shame we're being looked at as if we have something to hide. But that's not true," Broche told Belgian outlet Het Laatste Nieuws.
"Malicious intent seems out of the question to me. I really don't believe that. Jens is 17 years old and is completely devastated."
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Broche suggests Verbrugghe's bike may have been set up so that it is ready for next year when the UCI lifts the restrictions on junior gearing.
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He then added: "In the ideal world, we would have seen this, but our mechanics have assembled 120 bicycles here. We assume that the bicycles will arrive with the correct gears.
"There is no malicious intent involved here. This is a human error on the part of several people: the rider, the mechanic of his team, our people.
"We are not going to point the finger at anyone, it is a shared responsibility."
Josh Tarling made it two golds for Britain in the junior time trials at the Road World Championships as he grabbed the rainbow jersey with a consummate performance.
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Stream the UCI Road World Championships live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk
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