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“The battle for the general classification is over. This is a day to forget. We came here with objective of winning but a big crash, with 40 riders down, ruined it for “Purito," Azevedo says

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele










15.05.2014 @ 22:06 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

One of the biggest favourites Joaquim Rodriguez has been forced to withdraw from the Giro d'Italia after he suffered numerous injuries in today's big crash on the sixth stage. While the Spaniard managed to finish the stage, his teammates Giampaolo Caruso and Angel Vicioso didn't and so Katusha are left with just six riders.


Slippery roads and a fast pace on the approach to the final climb became the undoing of many riders, including Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez, Angel Vicioso and Giampaolo Caruso who went down hard and had to abandon his Giro. Already riding with a fracture in the scaphoid, Caruso was taken off the course in an ambulance.


Teammate Angel Vicioso also was forced to abandon and was taken to the hospital. Team leader Joaquim Rodriguez went down but finished the stage before heading to the hospital for x-rays. He was diagnosed with a fractured finger and bruised ribs, injuries that force him out of the race.


Giampaolo Caruso suffered no extra fracture but has big contusions to his left hip and leg. Vicioso is much more unlucky as he suffered a threefold complex femur fracture.


The split caused by the crash put the maglia rosa in a small group of six riders driven by BMC. Depsite a valiant chase from a group of some 40 riders, the gap couldn’t be closed down and remained at 49-seconds. From this group came the stage winner Michael Matthews, winning while wearing the pink jersey after more than six-and-a-half hours of racing. Second and third places went to Tim Wellens of Lotto-Belisol and Cadel Evans (BMC).


Daniel Moreno was the only Team Katusha rider, who finished in the first chasing group together with most of GC contenders, 49 seconds

behind the stage winner.


Matthews stayed in the race lead by 21-seconds to Evans and 1:18 to Rigoberto Uran of Omega-Pharma – Quick-Step. 


“The battle for the general classification is over,” Katusha sport director José Azevedo said. “This is a day to forget. We came here with objective of winning but a big crash, with 40 riders down, ruined it for “Purito.’”


Stage six brought the peloton to the longest stage, increased in length due to a landslide that necessitated additional kilometers to go around. At 257 km, the stage began in Sassano and ended in Montecassino. The break of the day went clear soon after the start in Sassano with a group of four riders creating a time advantage that went out to nine minutes before the main field began the long process of bringing them back.


It was on the approach to the final climb that the break was brought back under the fast pace of the main field, with the massive crash coming at the same time. 


Stage 7 on Friday begins in Frosinone and ends in Foligno at 211 km. It features a category 3 and category 4 climb along the way.



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