A touch of wheels in the hectic lead-in to the final climb at Clásica San Sebastián Saturday knocked two key climbers out of the race — Egan Bernal (Team Sky) and Mikel Landa (Movistar).
A day later, American Ben King (Dimension Data) took to Twitter to apologize for the crash.
I am sincerely sorry to the riders who crashed as a result of my accident today. I looked back for my teammates when the rider beside me came across my front wheel. It's terrible when something like this affects yourself but worse when it affects others. I hope everybody is ok.
— Ben King (@BenKing89) August 4, 2018
King went on to finish 63rd in the 228.7km one-day race.
Bernal just finished his debut Tour de France. He was a key climbing domestique who helped his Sky teammate Geraint Thomas win his first yellow jersey. The 21-year-old Colombian suffered “serious facial trauma,” according to Team Sky’s website.
“Egan [Bernal] suffered a serious facial trauma. He is awake and talking. He has had a precautionary scan to assess for further injuries which revealed a nasal fracture and maxillary injury,” the statement read.
Landa was also stretchered off the course near San Sebastián with 20 kilometers to go.
His Movistar team said he suffered a “non-displaced fracture of the spinous process in his lumbar vertebra L1.”
The Spaniard was expected to race the Vuelta a España after a disappointing showing at the Tour de France. Although he’ll require two to three weeks of rest, he may still start the three-week Spanish tour.