It’s no way to win a bike race — Daryl Impey (Barloworld) took the overall title in the 45th Presidential Tour of Turkey on Sunday despite crashing heavily in the last kilometer of the final stage after contact with former track sprinter Theo Bos (Rabobank).
The crash, one of four in the last 2km, left the race leader sprawled on the ground for 20 minutes after Sebastian Siedler of Vorarlberg-Corractec won the stage. Because the crash occurred inside the final 3km of the stage, Impey was given the same time as stage winner Siedler and kept the yellow leader’s jersey by one second over Davide Malacarne (Quick Step). David Garcia Da Pena (Xacobeo Galicia) was third at three seconds.
Impey eventually remounted to ride across the finish line, then was taken to a hospital in Alanya where doctors reported a fracture of the third disk of his lumbar vertebra, a micro-fracture of his neck, a facial trauma, a few broken teeth and a deep cut in his lips. He was to remain hospitalized for 24 hours, organizers reported.
In a statement on the Rabobank website, the rider denied deliberately hurling Impey to the tarmac. “I am sure that I only wanted him off. He threatened to come my way and I was already as good as in the fence.”
UCI commissaires took no action against Bos.
“Daryl’s crash was terrible. The speed was really high and some riders took far too many risks,” team mate Paolo Longo Borghini said. “We’re really sorry for Daryl. He deserved to climb on the winner’s podium and celebrate with us. The important thing is that he managed to finish the race and win.”
His remaining four teammates — Borghini, Diego Caccia, Giampaolo Cheula and Patrick Calcagni, with directeur sportif Alberto Volpi — went on stage to receive on his behalf the yellow and green jerseys, as well as the team prize.
“It’s very difficult to celebrate a win in these circumstances,” said Caccia.
Added Volpi: “”We were hoping for a different kind of victory celebration, and Daryl’s crash has left us stunned. This is a very important victory for all of us at Team Barloworld. We’ve shown we’re a strong and very united team. We were in the action every day and that’s a good sign for the rapidly approaching Giro d’Italia.”