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"I saw the car of Emmanuel Hubert stop a little earlier. I made the very bad decision of hopping into the AG2R-La Mondiale car. This is a huge mistake. But I do not want anyone to think that I'm a cheater."

Photo: Sirotti




18.07.2015 @ 22:52 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Eduardo Sepulveda has been disqualified by the jury after he broke his chain 23 kilometers from the finish of today's stage and hopped into the Ag2r team car to be brought back to his team manager Emanuel Hubert who had already passed him.

Sepulveda was 19th overall, 28'19 '' behind Chris Froome, and was looking forward to the Alpine stages where he hoped to move into the top 15 in his first Tour de France.


"I admit that I made ​​a mistake," he said.F"irst of all, I want to apologize to my teammates who had shown me great confidence during the Tour, to Emmanuel Hubert and the entire staff and to the Bretagne-Séché Environnement team partners. And to all my Argentine fans who have followed me during the Tour.


"I regret this exclusion from the race, but I understand that everyone is very disappointed with what happened. I lack experience, it's my first Tour and I lived every moment with a lot of stress. This was the case in the finale of today's stage, and when I broke my chain and I couldn't find my team car, I panicked. 

"I saw the car of Emmanuel Hubert stop a little earlier. I made the very bad decision of hopping into the AG2R-La Mondiale car. This is a huge mistake. But I do not want anyone to think that I'm a cheater. To be disqualified from my first Tour de France is the worst nightmare for me."

" We can not but change the decision of the commissaires," Hubert said. "Eduardo made a big mistake, he violated the regulation that clearly states that yoy will be disqualified from the race for this type of offense. But its application is very severe in the context. Eduardo was in a situation of panic. We can not explain it otherwise.


"At the top of Col de l'Escrinet, he broke his chain and was rescued by the AG2R team, who gave him a wheel thinking that was the problem. He was hidden by the car and I didn't see him. I stopped 100 metres further up and Eduardo, instead of coming to the car on foot, covered the 100 metres on the backseat of the AG2R car. There is nothing to say. The rules applied.


"I immediately understood what was going on when I saw the commissaires. I want to thank those who sent messages of sympathy. Laurent Jalabert said on France 2 that he found the decision to be unfair.


"We are all unhappy and I think about our partners who were so happy to see us every day beeing protagonist in this Tour de France. On their behalf and that of the whole team, I present our apologies to the organizers, ASO, who have trusted us since last year. We will have more to heart to show an offensive image in the last week of the Tour."


"We saw Eduardo at the roadside," Ag2r manager Vincent Lavenu said. "We stopped and he opened the door. We were going to give him a wheel but he hopped into the car. He was in a panic and we had to leave immediately as we couldn't disturb others. We drove less than hundred meters in our car. I understand the regulation but there is also the spirit. I am very disappointed for him as he is doing his first Tour. "



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