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Vuelta a Espana

Fred Wright lost for words at Roglič statement: ‘It’s a shame … it’s a shame’

Roglič's teammate Rohan Dennis: 'The only people who can comment are Fred and Primož. It’s a tale of two stories really isn’t it.'

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MADRID (VN) – Fred Wright was lost for words when he spoke with reporters for the first time after Jumbo-Visma launched accusations of reckless racing his way.

Wright was alleged to be the cause of the crash that forced Primož Roglič out of the Vuelta a España in a statement that was issued just hours before the British galloped to his sixth top-10 of the race on Friday’s 19th stage.

“It was hard, the team did really well. After the stage, I was really happy and emotional about nearly winning again, and the team took me straight to the bus and said, look ‘Jumbo-Visma made this statement.’ My first reaction was I was pretty disappointed,” Wright told reporters Saturday morning.

“I think it’s unfair … It’s unfair to call me out the way they’ve done, three days after the incident itself. I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong. I think there’s been so many people looking at it and studying it … it’s a shame. It’s a shame.”

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Roglič and Wright bumped together in a sizzling four-up sprint in Tomares earlier this week. Roglič smashed to the road and limped to the line before abandoning with his injuries the next day.

A lack of overhead footage left questions over how it happened until Roglič and Jumbo-Visma claimed Wright plowed into the Slovenian from behind. Bahrain Victorious responded in defense of Wright later that day.

The 23-year-old Brit still seemed in shock when he spoke Saturday.

“I held my line, I was on the right line,” he said. “I don’t know, it’s a strange one. Of course, I hope Roglič is alright, I said that when I tweeted about it. No one wants him out of the race like that. Today could have been the day he won the Vuelta.”

Jumbo-Visma rider Rohan Dennis: ‘It’s a tale of two stories’

Jumbo-Visma’s statement provoked a shockwave through the peloton in what some felt was an out-of-character outlash.

Several riders voiced support for Wright, and the Twittersphere exploded.

“Everyone’s got their opinions … it is what it is,” Roglič’s teammate Rohan Dennis told SBS.

“You can’t see the video, there’s no overhead, there’s nothing. I can’t really comment. The only people who can comment are Fred and Primož. It’s a tale of two stories really isn’t it.”

Wright will be wanting to move past the story.

The Bahrain-Victorious all-rounder has an outside chance at sprint victory in the final Madrid stage of the Vuelta on Sunday and has a co-captaincy role for the British team at the road world championships later this month.

“I sent Primož a message but I’ve not had a chance to properly speak to him,” Wright said. “But I think it would be good, because you know how it is with these things, you don’t know what position he’s in. I just hope he’s alright.”