Buried deep in Sunday's UCI commissaires' report was a penalty against Levi Leipheimer for illegal mechanical assistance and bidon pulls.
Leipheimer hopes the 10-second penalty won't make a difference in Paris.
photo: Andrew Hood
The top American contender was fined 50 CHF and penalized 5 points and 10 seconds for the bidon pull and fined an additional 50 CHF for illegal mechanical assistance.
Leipheimer couldn't care less about the money or the points, but those 10 seconds could be vital in the battle for the overall crown when every second counts.
"My chain came off on the descent off the Roselend and got wrapped in the derailleur and I couldn't pedal for the last 5km of the descent," Leipheimer told a handful of journalists on Monday's rest day. "The car was too far behind for it to come up. When I got to the bottom, I switched to the spare bike, but I even had to change that."
Leipheimer took a sling-shot off a bidon pass just as riders typically do when chasing back on through the team cars, something that the UCI seems to be cracking down on this year.
Leipheimer hopes the time penalty doesn't become a factor later in the race.
"It could make a difference, but if I hadn't gotten back, it would have made a bigger difference," he said.