Impey still in hospital after crash with Bos, who defends his role

By Steve Frothingham

Impey and a teammate cross the finish line Sunday.
Impey and a teammate cross the finish line Sunday.

Photo: © Tour de Turquie-Thierry Gromik

Dutch racer Theo Bos says he feels sick about Sunday’s crash in the final kilometer of the Presidential Tour of Turkey. His crash with yellow jersey wearer Daryl Impey (Barloworld) has generated a huge amount of Internet chatter and calls for Bos to be punished for his role in it.

Impey was awarded the race win despite the crash, which left him on the ground for 20 minutes before he could cross the finish line. The South African rider remains in the hospital in Turkey. His team said he cracked two vertebrae in his lower back, as well as suffering facial injuries including a missing tooth.

Footage of the final kilometer of the race has been watched and dissected by hundreds of thousands of YouTube viewers. The helicopter footage appears to show Bos grabbing Impey’s jersey and pushing Impey into the fencing. Bos was behind Impey when he reached out. Both riders went down.

Bos, writing in Dutch on his blog, said that he grabbed Impey’s jersey out of instinct as he began to fall. “I’m completely trapped and I’m being pushed into the barriers on the left, and reflexively trying to keep him away from me as a last-ditch effort. At the moment it was the only right option to prevent a crash. With my front wheel, I believe I hit the foot of the barriers and then together with Impey, went sprawling.”

The pros Twitter about the crash
Robbie McEwen (mcewenrobbie)
#well there goes Theo Bos’ “Best + Fairest Award Nomination”. Watch this what caused this?
# you have to watch the Bos thing 30 times-in slo mo. i don’t think he did it on purpose. sorry for DI
# Next subject!!
# Last word on Bos crash – INTENTION wasn’t to crash DI or himself but he did. In the wrong, no question. If suspended 1 month, take it.

Christian Vande Velde (christianVDV)
# Just watched “The Theo Bos Sprint” a few times. Man o’ man, that was really bad, horrible to watch, much worse than Barney.
# I am giving Theo the benefit of the doubt. That, he didn’t intend any malice towards DI.
# That said, Theo caused the crash, took his hands off the bars and put himself in that position. Some sort of penalty is in order.

Robbie Hunter: (robbiehunter)
# So about Bos and Impey i cant make up my mind.Bos was wrong no doubt and in the end D came down hard.You dont take you hands off your bars.
# What does not calculate is why would he do that.He had not reason to pull him off his bike nothing to gain at all.So why?
# Say a reflex of knowing he was going down & put his hand on D to push & get away from barriers still no sense,braking is 1st human reaction!

Lance Armstrong (lancearmstrong)
#Bos doesn’t even get disqualified. Pitiful. He deserves a long suspension.
#rewatched Bos crash 10x. Fences were uneven, sprint looked nervous/sketchy, but imo the hands should never come off the bars in a sprint.

Bob Roll (bobkeroll)
# boss didnt get any penalty – 1 yr ban is my idea –
# Theo bos, take a hand off the bars at 40 mph not purely an accident, 1 yr ban
# Racing bikes not for the faint hearted, you hit the deck you get wrecked, you break your neck and carry your bike a half mile to finish …
# check the slomo – he didnt hit the barriers first

“Everybody who knows me well knows that I would never purposely take risks to cause a crash in such a way. Why would have I taken myself down?”

Bos is a former world champion and Olympic medalist track sprinter, making a career switch to the road with the Rabobank Continental team. He said the Internet discussion and calls for his punishment were distressing. “I’m not known in the cycling world as someone who takes extreme risks … It’s making me sick to hear of it.”

UCI officials at the race did not sanction Bos. Impey pedaled over the finish line several minutes later; he was awarded the same time as the stage winner because the accident happened in the final 3 kilometers. He won the overall title at the eight-stage event by one second over Quick Step’s Davide Malacarne.

Barloworld manager Claudio Corti, in a team statement Tuesday, said Impey will remain in the Turkish hospital for several days before being flown home to South Africa.

“It will take Daryl a long time to recover and he will not be able to take part in the Giro d’Italia and use the excellent form he has shown in recent weeks to obtain other results for the team,” Corti said.

Regarding Bos, Corti said, “I’m certain that the race judges will take the necessary disciplinary action and adequately sanction Theo Bos for what he did. If they do not, every director sportif will be able to tell their riders to use their hands to make room for themselves during sprints.”
Discuss the crash on the forum.
Editor’s Note Bos’s blog entries were translated by Maryka Sennema. The complete translation of the blog is on her blog).