BLOCKHAUS, Italy (VN) — Disaster struck Team Sky as the peloton sped toward the base of the decisive Blockhaus climb in Sunday’s summit finale in stage 9 at the Giro d’Italia.
Several Sky riders hit the deck, including pre-race favorite Geraint Thomas, after a rider hit a police motorcycle parked alongside the road.
A Sunweb rider, perhaps Wilco Kelderman, struck a police motorcycle parked along the edge of the left edge of the roadway with about 15km to go, just as Movistar powered the bunch toward the decisive climb.
“I don’t know what to say, except it’s ridiculous,” said Thomas, whose shoulder “popped out” in the spill before the final climb to the summit finish of Blockhaus on stage nine.
Thomas lay sprawled on the ground as the peloton, led by Movistar and Bahrain-Merida, surged forward. Sky co-captain Mikel Landa was also caught up in the crash.
Adam Yates, the Orica-Scott climber, also was held up in the crash, and was frantically chasing back on as the leaders surged up the climb.
Thomas added: “We were all racing, then someone in front of me hits a motorbike. My shoulder popped out.
“I felt good but then I crashed, and my race was over.”
It is not the first time in recent years riders have suffered directly as a result of incidents with motorbikes involved in the race.
At last year’s Tour de France, organisers re-set the stage times for Australian Richie Porte, Britain’s Chris Froome and Dutchman Bauke Mollema after they crashed into a motorbike on Mont Ventoux.
American Giro hope Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) was later dropped on the final climb.