Saiz Goes Ballistic, Gets Spanish Boot!
Manolo Saiz has gone too far this time. At least that’s what Vuelta officials think. In the melee surrounding Saiz and a moto camera after Roberto Heras had made his decisive jump and left Isidro Nozal in trouble on the final climb today, all of Spain heard the stream of expletives and insults directed at the moto driver from Saiz. The flood of insults came after Saiz maneuvered the ONCE team car to try to impede the process of the moto, claiming that the bike was giving Heras an illegal advantage of a draft as Heras made his move. After the moto refused to yield, the ensuing deluge of curses came loud and clear right at the camera, and all of Spain was able to enjoy them. After this evenings deliberations, Jean-Michel Voets, president of the jury of the race commissaries announced that Saiz would be ejected on the grounds that he was exhibiting “behavior not in keeping with the spirit of cycling in general and the Vuelta in particular.”
Perhaps not the best thing for a director to do while, one, his team is defending a precarious lead on the eve of a paramount time trial, and two, while his team is searching for new sponsors to take the team for next year.
Voets also incurred against Saiz an 800 Swiss franc fine, and is suggesting to the UCI that Saiz be suspended as a manager for three months.