Disbelief and anger has marred one of the most anticipated stages of the 100th Giro’d Italia with a moto again causing a crash amongst the pro peloton.
The shock incident occurred near the foot of the legendary Blockhaus climb on Stage 9 of the race. With teams positioning themselves for the gritty 13.8km climb, and fans around the world on the edges of their seats in ancticipation of the action ahead, disaster struck.
Moto Causes Mayhem
A police moto stopped on the left of the roadway to allow the peloton to pass through – not pulling far enough over, a rider clipped the motorcycle and fell. This caused a domino effect with numerous riders – including the whole of Team Sky – crashing heavily.
With the climbing train of Movistar ahead and out of trouble, star rider Nairo Quintana continued on. He ultimately won the stage with a comfortable margin and also secured the Maglia Rosa (pink jersey). He now holds an overall lead of 28 seconds.
Orica-Scott ‘Extremely Disappointed’
Orica-Scott’s Adam Yates, considered a major contender for the stage, was one of the riders to fall. Crediting Quintana but also disappointed no consideration was given to his fallen comrades, Orica-Scott Sport Director Matt White said the team was “extremely disappointed that something that shouldn’t have happened has had such an impact today.”
“We don’t know the circumstances, whether the motorbike stalled or just made an error in judgement in stopping there but you never want to see that happen,” he said.
“Unfortunately we feel that Movistar also made a mistake today. Given the scenario of the race, still a long way from the finish and no break to chase, it was possible for them to wait just for a couple of minutes given there were so many GC contenders on the deck. The strongest guy won today but the damage behind was significant.”
Adam Yates Frustrated After Moto Crash
Losing time in the crash but admirably managing to win some back on the climb, Adam Yates expressed his frustration.
“I’m bitterly dissappointed with today’s unfortunate situation, but the Giro isn’t over for us yet,” Yates said.
“I came here in great condition after months of hard work and that form hasn’t gone anywhere. We have two more hard weeks ahead of us and I’m more motivated than ever to get a result and climb back up the general classification. Look, it was a bad day for us but we won’t give up. It’s put a dent in our podium aspirations but there is still a lot of climbing to come and we will keep fighting. All is not lost.”
Stage 9 Result
1 – Nairo Quintana -Movistar – 149km in 3h44’51”, average speed 39.759km/h
2 – Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) at 24″
3 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) s.t.
4 – Bauke Mollema (Trek – Segafredo) at 41″
5 – Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain – Merida) at 1’00”