Two Bora-Hansgrohe riders were caught up in a high-speed collision with a pedestrian on the opening team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday.
Oscar Gatto and Rafal Majka collided with a man who crossed in front of the riders during the 21.5km stage 1 in Lido di Camaiore.
“Unfortunately, we had a very bad day,” said Enrico Poitschke, sports director. “Just 3.5km into the stage, a spectator crashed into the team, taking down two riders and splitting up the squad. From then on our guys weren’t in the best mood but still gave a fight. The good news is that Rafal Majka is set to continue the race. He doesn’t look good after the crash but he will be there. Our chances at the GC are probably gone now but we will try to fight for, possibly, a stage win that will keep our spirits high. Still, it was a very bad day for us.”
Team doctor Jan-Niklas Droste added that Majka is still undergoing tests to determine if he suffered a head injury.
“Oscar Gatto has quite a lot of bruises while Rafal Majka went down hard,” Droste said. “He has hematomas and abrasions on his head and we will have to run additional tests and diagnostics in order to evaluate whether the impact caused a concussion or not.”
Three-time world champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia avoided the collision in conditions which were already hazardous due to rain.
The pedestrian was brought to the hospital but his condition was reported not to be serious.
Bora-Hansgrohe wasn’t the only team to contend with unwitting pedestrians. Mitchelton-Scott, which won the stage 1 team time trial, had a near-miss in the finish. A woman walking a dog nearly caused a crash as they rounded the final left-hand corner.