New Delhi: Cheating is also an art. It requires a certain level of subtlety to avoid being caught. But on Monday, one of the world's leading cyclists Vincenzo Nibali was thrown out of Tour of Spain (Vuelta a Espana) for being towed by a team car from Astana Pro Team (APT) stable.
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The Italian rider and his Astana team's cheating act failed to stay discreet with hordes of video footages surfacing on the internet showing how the 30-year-old took the proverbial hitch by holding on to his team car for some 200 metres during stage two after suffering a crash.
As expected, the power of four wheels did help him destroy the field, but it proved too ephemeral as he found himself being disqualified for fragrant cheating. Astana team director Alexander Sheffer, who was driving the car, also got the boot.
The Kazakh cycling team has been at the centre of controversies for doping scandals in recent past. Five riders from APT's first team and its developmental squad were tested positive for banned substances, resulting in an International Cycling Union review of the team's license early this year.
Known as "the Shark of Messina", Nibali is one of the strongest all-round road rider having won multiple stage wins in Grand Tours – Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana.