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While crossing the finish line in what appeared to be a victory salute for winning the opening stage of the 2022 Tour of Hellas, Eduard Prades (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) sat up and then fell from his bike to the ground just as he was going over the tape covering what may have been part of the electronic timing system.
At the very instant he was raising his hands, Prades’ bike looked to squirt forward from beneath him and dump the rider to the ground.
With his hands aloft, Prades can be seen to fall off the back end of his saddle, and land bottom-first on the asphalt in front of the fast charging peloton.
Prades very quickly slowed to a stop, using his chamois and shorts for braking. The following riders slowed so as not to hit the seated Spaniard.
To add insult to injury, Prades was then told he finished in second place on the stage, 1:46 behind Aaron Gate (Bolton Equities Black Spoke).
Prades did not know Gate had gone up the road and was not brought back with other escapees.
“Everything pointed to riding for the win,” Prades said. “When I looked at the TV bikes, the support cars, and the way our group was heading, I had the feeling that we were riding for the win. I thought that the leading group had already been caught, but it turned out that I had misjudged that.”
“At least I have a photo that I really wanted for my son,” he joked.
Following the stage, it was determined that there may have been a mechanical failure of his saddle which was responsible for the crash.