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Giro d'Italia

Phinney to keep pink after ambulance ride to the finish

American stays in maglia rosa despite inability to ride to the finish

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Taylor Phinney kept his clutch on the Giro d’Italia’s pink jersey Monday, despite a late crash that saw him remain on the ground for minutes near the finish line. Phinney (BMC Racing) crossed the line in an ambulance, but made an appearance at the podium to collect his third maglia rosa.

“I wanted to show the fans and the public and my family watching at home that I was OK,” he said. “I felt like it was important to do that, to come back.”

Phinney crashed hard after Roberto Ferrari (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) veered right wildly at about 100 meters from the finish and took down world champion Mark Cavendish (Sky). The race jury awarded Phinney the same time as stage winner Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) because the crash occurred in the final 3km.

The American was also allowed to cross the finish line in the ambulance, as outlined in UCI regulation 2.6.027:

If, as the result of a duly noted fall in the last three kilometers, a rider cannot cross the finishing line, he shall be placed last in the stage and credited with the time of the rider or riders in whose company he was riding at the time of the accident.

Phinney was near the front when the crash occurred about five wheels deep. Afterward, he sat on the ground for almost 10 minutes, receiving medial attention.

“You don’t see a lot of crashes like that in the last kilometer, especially the last couple hundred meters,” said Phinney. “Where I was, I thought I was safe. I was staying up there (near the front) and was protected really well by the team. I hit the ground really hard and also must have had something hit me, because I have a little stab wound in my ankle.”

A BMC Racing spokesperson said that Phinney would make the team’s flight to Italy, where he will undergo further examination tonight.

“Team President Jim Ochowicz and our race doctor, Dario Spinelli, will go with Taylor to a hospital in Verona tonight and we’ll have an update afterwards,” said assistant director Fabio Baldato.