Back to school for Team Sky bus drivers

All of Team Sky’s drivers will take safety refresher courses this winter as part of their response to an embarrassing incident that saw the team bus almost run a cyclist off the road in Wales.

But professional cycling’s most high-profile team are standing by the driver Claudio Lucchini, who is reported to be deeply upset about his error of judgement.

The near-miss, which occurred when the bus was driving to the finish of Wednesday’s fourth stage of the Tour of Britain, was captured by Andy Rolfe’s helmet camera and he posted the video on a new Twitter account, provoking a huge response.

Team Sky issued an immediate public apology, with a spokesman for cycling’s most high-profile team admitting the incident was “unacceptable”.

Speaking in Spain, team boss Dave Brailsford said: “We absolutely apologise to the rider in question. I’ve spoken to Claudio myself and we had a chat about it and he is really upset about it.”

WARNING: Stong language in video

In the Vuelta a Espana, Chris Froome produced a superb display to win the stage 19 time trial and cut the overall lead of Nairo Quintana down to one minute and 21 seconds heading into today’s penultimate stage.

Team Sky rider Froome had gone into the 37km course from Javea to Calpe trailing Colombian Quintana by three minutes and 37 seconds.

However, the Tour de France champion and 2016 Olympic time trial bronze medallist was the only rider to clock under 47 minutes, finishing with a time of 46 minutes and 33 seconds to beat Jonathan Castroviejo’s mark, the Movistar rider coming in 44 seconds adrift.

Swede Tobias Ludvigsson was third, in 47mins and 57secs.

Quintana, meanwhile, could only manage 48:49 to finish two minutes and 16 seconds behind Froome, who is aiming to become the first winner of the Tour de France and Vuelta in the same season for 38 years.

Today’s stage will be over 193.2km, finishing on the special category climb of Alto de Aitana, with the processional finale set for tomorrow into Madrid.

Meanwhile Steve Cummings seized the Tour of Britain’s yellow jersey in Dartmoor yesterday after Julien Vermote wilted on the sixth stage.

Vermote had led the general-classification standings since winning the second stage between Carlisle and Kendal on Monday, yet the Etixx Quick-Step rider struggled on the final climb toward Haytor. That allowed Wirral rider Cummings to take the yellow jersey off him as the Belgian slipped out of the top 10.

The stage was won by Team Sky’s Wout Poels.


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