REVIEW PANEL REPORT – 947 RIDE JOBURG ELITE WOMEN’S RACE

On 21 November 2021, Emma Pallant Browne was disqualified from the 947 Ride Joburg as a result of a deviation from the race route that resulted in an advantage.

An objection to the disqualification was lodged the following day by the Team Manager of PEAK, the team that Emma Pallant Browne is a member of.

The Road Commission of CyclingSA then appointed a review panel consisting of three individuals to review the sanction and the objection raised.


INCIDENT

Pallant was leading the Elite Women’s race by approximately one minute when she entered the Kyalami complex. The event organisation lead vehicle was ahead and her team vehicle was behind her. 

Upon entering the Kyalami Racetrack, the race route veers to the left and it is evident that the lead vehicle, rider and team vehicle veered to the right and proceeded in an anticlockwise direction along with the deviation, while the portion of the race route that which the rider was required to ride was substantially longer and in a clockwise direction. 

The lead vehicle, rider and team vehicle continued along with the deviation until they reached a barrier consisting of cones and safety tape across the road. Upon reaching the barrier, the lead vehicle drove through the tape, with the rider dismounting and climbing over to re-enter the racecourse.

The effect of this is that the rider deviated from the race route and gained an advantage as a result. (Note: The race route was made available to all the riders and team managers prior to the commencement of the race.)

Pallant was disqualified from the 947 Ride Joburg as a result of breaching Article 1.2.064 of Part I read with Article 2.12.006 (7.1) of Part II of the UCI Cycling Regulations.

1.2.064 Riders shall study the course in advance.

Unless ordered so to do by a police officer, they may not leave the prescribed course and shall not be able to claim any error in this respect, nor any other motive such as, for example, incorrect directions by any person, badly placed or non-existent signs, etc.

Conversely, should the rider take a shortcut giving an advantage, he shall be penalised in accordance with point 13 of the table of race incidents appended to Part XII (article 2.12.007, point 7.1 for Road events) notwithstanding any other disciplinary measures that may be provided for

2.12.007 Deviation from the race route constituting an advantage, attempting to be placed without having covered the entire race route and records, the sanction as follows:

Rider: CHF100 fine, 20 points from UCI rankings and elimination or disqualification.

OBJECTION

An objection to the sanction of disqualification was lodged by her Team Manager on the grounds that:

  1. The correct protocol regarding the disqualification process was not followed by the Commissaires.
  2. At no stage during the process was the Team Manager, or the rider, given an opportunity to present their case to the Commisaires.

REVIEW PROCESS

The Road Commission of CyclingSA then appointed a review panel consisting of three individuals to review the sanction and the objection raised.

The review panel was provided with and has considered the following:

  1. Race report from the Commissaires.
  2. Letter of objection from PEAK Team Coaching dated 22 November 2021.
  3. Race report from PEAK Team Manager.
  4. Map reflecting the portion of the racecourse relevant to the matter.
  5. A video depicting the rider and the lead vehicle entering Kyalami Complex, the rider riding across the deviation and re-entering the racecourse at the end of the deviation.


The infringement of deviating from a race route is classified as a “Race Incident” in terms of Article 12.4.001 of
Part XII of the UCI Cycling Regulations where the following is stated:

12.4.001 The infringements relating to race incidents are those listed in the tables of race incidents as set out in [Article] 2.12.007 for Road cycling.

These infringements are exclusively pronounced by Commissaires. They are not subject to appeal except in the case of fines exceeding the following amounts:

National Events: Fine over CHF 200

An appeal may be made within 10 days of notification of the decision. 

Article 2.12.001 of Part II of the UCI Cycling Regulations states the following with regard to race incidents in the context of road events:

2.12.001 The infringement related to racing incidents concerning riders, teams or other licence holders observed in the context of road events are sanctioned as set out in the table of race incidents defined in article 2.12.007, in accordance with article 12.4.001.

2.12.007 Deviation from the race route constituting an advantage, attempting to be placed without having covered the entire race route and records, the sanction as follows:

Rider: CHF100 fine, 20 points from UCI rankings and elimination or disqualification.

Despite Article 12.4.001 providing that only those infringements relating to race incidents where a fine exceeds CHF200 are subject to an appeal, and where the Regulations are silent with regard to a disqualification, this Review Panel was constituted to deal with the objection raised by the Team Manager of Team PEAK, of which Emma Pallant was a member.

The definition and jurisdiction of the Commissaires Panel are referred to in Article 12.5.001 of Part XII of the UCI Cycling Regulations and states the following:

12.5.001 The Commissaires' Panel is competent to judge and sanction all race incidents according to the tables of race incidents applicable to the different disciplines.

Before making its decision, the Commissaires' Panel may summon and hear the ar concerned if the circumstances so warrant.

The Commissaires’ Panel may issue decisions on race incidents of which it becomes aware until the moment it is disbanded.

FINDINGS

Emma Pallant Browne did not follow the race route as provided by the event organiser and that is an infringement of Article 1.2.064 of Part I, read with Article 2.12.006(7.1) of Part II of the UCI Cycling Regulations.

The Rider or her representative on her behalf claim that she and the Team Manager followed the lead vehicle along a route that was not part of the prescribed course.

In terms of Article 1.2.064 of Part I of the UCI Cycling Regulations, there is an obligation on riders and team managers to familiarise themselves with the racecourse, in advance of the event and a Rider may only deviate therefrom when ordered to do so by a police officer. 

The UCI Cycling Regulations are peremptory and the Commissaires’ Panel is bound by the provisions of those Regulations and the sanctions imposed.


CONCLUSION

The conclusion of this Review Panel is that the Commissaires followed protocol and performed their duties with regard to this incident in accordance with the UCI Cycling Regulations. They were bound to impose a sanction on Emma Pallant Browne for having deviated from the prescribed course and that her disqualification from the race was imposed in accordance with the UCI Cycling Regulations.

Accordingly, the objection raised by Emma Pallant Browne has been dismissed.

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