Bevin taken to hospital after Tour Down Under crash

Race leader suffers heavy fall with 10km to go on stage 5

CCC Team were left waiting on news of Patrick Bevin's health after the leader of the Tour Down Under crashed heavily on stage 5 of the race on Saturday.

The Kiwi crashed with several other riders with 10 kilometres to go. He was cut adrift from the peloton as they raced towards the finish line, but managed to regain contact with the field thanks in part to a long draft from his team car. After the finish – having retained his overall lead – he was rushed to hospital for check-ups and X-rays.

At one point, it looked as though the peloton had eased up when they heard that the race leader had crashed. Cyclingnews spoke to several riders and teams regarding the matter, and it's clear that some riders wanted the pace to ease, while other squads were keen to keep their position near the front of the bunch in order to prepare for the sprint.

The crash was a racing incident and came after the hammer had dropped, so the peloton were well within their rights to keep their pace.

"It was too close to the finish, so it's too hard to slow people down in the last 10 kilometres. You know, I've been there before where they've stopped," said CCC team manager Jim Ochowicz.

"If they'd been within 25, maybe 30, kilometres from the finish, then I would have maybe expected them to slow down until we got back in position, but, you know, the sprinter teams are up there trying to win, and you just can't control that.

"The team regrouped and they got him back up there," Ochowicz continued. "At first, we had to get him a new bike and that takes time, and then push him off and make up 40 or 50 places to make sure you're up there.

"But eventually he got back on just in time, and he continued to move up through the group. It's one thing if you catch the back end, but that's not enough; you've got to keep moving back up 40 or 50 places in case there are any splits."

With one stage remaining, Bevin still leads last year's winner Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) by seven seconds, with the race set to be decided by the final climb up Willunga Hill. 

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