Valentina Scandolara (Denver Disruptors) has been fined and issued a two-race suspension for NCL Cup races in 2024 for ‘unsportsmanlike conduct and threatening actions’ in a post-race confrontation with Paula Munoz from rival team Miami Nights following the conclusion of a women’s race in Atlanta, Georgia on August 20.
The three-race, points-based series contested among 10 invited co-ed teams came down to two teams to decide the overall winner last weekend. Those two teams – Miami Nights and Denver Disruptors – are both owned by the same event organisers, National Cycling League.
While the women’s race did not decide the outcome, that came in the men’s race where the Miami Nights won the overall title over the Disruptors, the women’s race was heated as the field battled for the largest number of points, 30% of the total available, on the final lap.
Broadcaster GCN+ provided a live stream of the races and caught Scandolara and the other rider as they rode past the finish line. Scandolara told Cyclingnews the cameras did not show the full story.
“Safety, honesty and fairness have always been on the top of my list of values as a rider, much before results or wins. I feel my long career in Europe has shown that I am a bearer of all the values the NCL stands for. I apologised immediately for my reaction, which looked bad and which I regret, but that wasn’t actually dangerous, and it followed an action which actually put my safety at big risk,” Scandolara said to Cyclingnews.
“I’m sad to see only my reaction has been taken into consideration as the camera missed what happened before that (action).”
The Disruptors rider said on social media that the Nights rider “deliberately shoved” her at high speed before the last corner of the race. Her shoving move was directed at Muñoz after the finish, which was what GCN+ cameras captured.
“My reaction after the line wasn’t pretty, but I was genuinely worried and stressed for my safety that has been jeopardised several times during the race. In the heat of the moment, I went to the responsible rider and let all my frustration out. This is not normally in my character, I’ve never done something like this in my long career and I think that this by itself is an indication that some lines have been crossed,” she posted to Instagram.
“I apologise to my team and to the spectators, that’s never nice to see, but after seeing Daniely Garcia on Saturday for the first time after her terrible,…