"The greasing of chains from a moving vehicle shall be forbidden," says the UCI rules. Yesterday at the E3 Saxo Classic this rule was broken by race winner Wout van Aert, however no consequences came from it.
Whilst some fans have pointed out the inconsistency, Jumbo-Visma have defended their rider.
This happened following the climbs of the Paterberg and Oude Kwaremont, where the wet cobblestones - which were found throughout the day in other areas - left the riders' drivetrains dirty and less efficient. This is part of cycling, but every detail matters and Jumbo-Visma was prepared and did an on-the-move chain lubing on the Belgian in the last 30 kilometers.
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Later on social media criticism was shown following the move. Mostly as this is said to be banned under UCI rules. Criticism was split between Jumbo-Visma and the UCI's inconsistencies, and became relatively important as van Aert sprinted to victory on the day.
"I'm 33 years a DS already. I do 150 races every year, and I saw it already in 100 races every year," team DS Arthur Van Dongen told Cyclingnews. "It's ok that people make a big story about it on social media, but that's not up to us. It happens a lot, but not often on television. It's like that. The jury made a good decision, don't kill cycling, because he has really no advantage from that. If we bring him back behind the car or whatever, then we say ok eh, but this was not the case," Van Dongen explained.
Whether it was a planned move or not, it can be argued it did make a difference - otherwise Jumbo-Visma would not take the risk - which further fuels the debate. "There are a lot of rules in the book but, in my opinion, you have to play with the rules. You have to say 'ok, is it an advantage? Does it play important role in the race? Yes or no'. You have to work with it," van Dongen concluded.
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