Jerseys with dimpled sections used in opening time trial
SHOWS: DUESSELDORF, GERMANY (JULY 1, 2017)(REUTERS PICTURES - ACCESS ALL)(STILLS ARE MUTE) 1. VASIL KIRYIENTA OF TEAM SKY READY TO BEGIN TIME TRIAL IN WHICH HE FINISHED THIRD, DIMPLED SECTION OF HIS JERSEY CAN BE SEEN 2. MIKEL LANDA OF TEAM SKY ABOUT TO BEGIN TIME TRIAL IN WHICH HE FINISHED 102, DIMPLED SECTION OF HIS JERSEY CAN BE SEEN 3. GERAINT THOMAS OF TEAM SKY RIDING ON TIME TRIAL WHICH HE WON, DIMPLED SECTION OF HIS JERSEY CAN BE SEEN 4. CHRIS FROOME OF TEAM SKY RIDING ON TIME TRIAL IN WHICH HE FINISHED SIXTH, DIMPLED SECTIONS OF HIS JERSEY CAN BE SEEN 5. MIKEL NIEVE OF TEAM SKY ABOUT TO START TIME TRIAL IN WHICH HE FINISHED 133, HE WEARS A DIFFERENT STYLE OF JERSEY WITH FINE MESH NEAR DUESSELDORF, GERMANY (JULY 2, 2017)(REUTERS PICTURES - ACCESS ALL)(STILLS ARE MUTE) 6. CHRIS FROOME OF TEAM SKY CHATTING WITH RICHIE PORTE OF BMC RACING ON STAGE TWO, FROOME WEARS A STYLE OF JERSEY FOR GENERAL STAGES STORY: Tension was building up around Team Sky after two days on the Tour de France as rival teams complained that the jerseys they used for the opening time trial had been designed to illegally boost aerodynamics. The British team put four riders in the top eight of Saturday's opening time trial, with Geraint Thomas taking the race leader's yellow jersey. Little bubble pads were seen on the upper arms on the jerseys of several Team Sky riders, including that of defending champion Chris Froome. International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations state: "Garments must not be adapted in any way such that they diverge from their use purely as clothing. The addition of any non-essential element or device to clothing is prohibited." "It is an actual part of the jersey, it was not added," race jury president Philippe Marien told Reuters on Sunday (July 2). "We summoned the team's sports directors to check the jerseys. Nothing was added to them," said Marien. Some teams, however, were not happy with the jury's view. Reuters learnt that at least two rival teams had complained about the Team Sky jerseys ahead of Sunday's 203.5-km ride to Liege. "It's enhanced aerodynamics and the regulations forbid it," said Frederic Grappe, performance director at the FDJ team. "According to studies, the estimated gain is about four to seven percent. It's huge." Italian Marco Pinotti, a coach at BMC Racing, told Reuters: "It seems to me this 'equipment' is on the border line with the rules but if it's judged compliant with the rules then I accept it." Asked by a reporter if he had used the jersey before Saturday Thomas said: "I used it at the Giro (in May)." While some believe Team Sky are bending the rules, their sports director Nicolas Portal said they were 'working' them. "There are other teams who have been using it. Other big teams have been using it," the Frenchman said. "It's legal. Everybody knows the rules. It does not give you a big advantage but it's those little things... so why not use them? "Everything has been validated. We would not take the risk to cheat and lose everything on the first day. We abide by the rules. Every team needs to work on the rules."