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“On a roundabout I locked wheels with the guy in front of me, and when he broke free I flew off into the road. My whole right side scraped on the asphalt and I knocked my head into a curb," Zeits says

Photo: Sirotti

ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM

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ENRICO GASPAROTTO

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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MICHELE SCARPONI

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MIKEL LANDA

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VALERIO AGNOLI

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12.05.2014 @ 13:31 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Astana had a very unfortunate day in yesterday's third stage of the Giro d'Italia as no less than five of its riders hit the deck at different points of the race. While team captain Michele Scarponi, Enrico Gasparotto and Mikel Landa seem to have avoided serious injuries, things could be worse for Valerio Agnoli and Andrey Zeits.

 

For Astana, the clear objective of the first three stages of the Giro d'Italia was to arrive as safely as possible on Italian soil. All was looking bright after they had done a good time trial and survived most of the two road stages.

 

In the finale of yesterday's stage, however, things started to unravel when a big crash involved no less than four of its riders, most notably team captain Michele Scarponi. Enrico Gasparotto, Mikel Landa and Valerio Agnoli also hit the deck and faced a hard chase to rejoin the peloton.

 

A little later, the team was again struck by bad luck when Andrey Zeits went down in another crash.

 

“My helmet saved me," he said. "Without it my crash would have been a lot worse.

 

“On a roundabout I locked wheels with the guy in front of me, and when he broke free I flew off into the road. My whole right side scraped on the asphalt and I knocked my head into a curb."

 

Agnoli suffered a bruised ribcage on his right side and will undergo further examination today in Italy. Gasparotto scraped the right cheek of his face and has a large bruise under his eye. Landa injured two fingers on his right hand and has swollen knuckles, and team captain Michele Scarponi scraped his left leg.

 

In the end, however, Scarponi ended as one of the day's winners as he was one of the only GC riders to be on the right side of the 11-second split in the finale and so heads into the Italian stages sitting in 32nd on GC, 41 seconds off the overall lead.

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