Moto mishap takes out Geoghegan Hart
A motorcycle crashed on the final approach to Snowbird Ski Resort, taking out Tao Geoghegan Hart.
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With three kilometers remaining in Saturday’s final climb to Snowbird Ski Resort, Axeon Hagens Berman rider Tao Geoghegan Hart had a mishap with one of the race motorcycles from the Tour of Utah.
The peloton had just shifted from the right side of the road to the left, where the motorcycle was riding. In an effort to dodge the riders, the motorcycle rode off the asphalt and onto loose gravel, where it crashed.
Depending on who you ask, however, the details of what happened next are different.
According to Tour of Utah spokesman Frank Zang, the motorcycle did not actually come into contact with Geoghegan Hart. Instead, the motorcycle mishap caused the rider to “take evasive action” and unclip.
“The pilot and the passenger fell onto the road surface,” Zang said. “Two riders had to take evasive actions and stop, put their feet down. They were able to resume the climb. There was no contact between the riders and the TV moto.”
According to Geoghegan Hart, the moto hit him. The 21-year-old British rider crossed the finish line showing scuff marks on his jersey. After the finish, he released a statement with his own version of the events.
“I was right next to the moto when they fell so they fell to the right and took me down,” Geoghegan Hart said. “I fell on my face and my shoulder. I lost 20 or 30 seconds before I could get up and clip back in. Then, I was on my own on the climb and it is impossible to chase back on a climb like that, especially into a headwind.”
VeloNews was able to view a video of the mishap shot from a motorcycle following the group. In the video, Geoghegan Hart does not physically hit the ground, however he does swerve into the road. It is unclear whether the motorcycle struck the rider, as the view was obstructed by riders veering to avoid the crash.
Geoghegan Hart was brought to an abrupt halt and forced to unclip, and the mishap caused him to lose contact with the group.
Geoghegan Hart finished the stage in 17th place, 2:44 behind stage winner Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac). He now sits in 12th place overall, 6:36 down.
After the stage, the race announced that the moto driver would be fined $1,000 and would be reassigned for the remainder of the race.
Axel Merckx, Axeon Hagens Berman’s director was riding behind the peloton when the incident happened, and did not see it.
Merckx said that no matter the details of the crash, the incident is a huge blow for Geoghegan Hart, who had been targeting the Tour of Utah for the last month. Geoghegan Hart finished a three-week training camp in Utah before the race.
“He’s riding really well, and when it comes down to it he gets taken out by a moto,” Merckx said. “He deserves something better.”