Tour de France chiefs said on Sunday there was nothing untoward on the Team Sky jerseys after rival teams complained that they had been designed to illegally boost aerodynamics.
The British team put four riders in the top eight of Saturday’s opening time trial, with Geraint Thomas taking the race leader’s yellow jersey.
Little bubble pads were seen on the upper arms and forearms on the jerseys of several Team Sky riders, including that of defending champion Chris Froome.
“It is an actual part of the jersey, it was not added,” race jury president Philippe Marien told Reuters.
International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations state: “Garments must not be adapted in any way such that they diverge from their use purely as clothing. The addition of any non-essential element or device to clothing is prohibited.”
“We summoned the team’s sports directors to check the jerseys. Nothing was added to them,” said Marien. Reuters learnt that at least two rival teams had complained about the Team Sky jerseys ahead of Sunday’s 203.5-km ride to Liege.
The performance director of one team, who declined to be named, said they had tested the same kind of jersey and it gave riders a gain of at least one second per kilometre.
Team Sky sports director Nicolas Portal said on Sunday: “There are other teams who have been using it.”