Elia Viviani (Team Sky) was one of the last riders to sign on in Cascina before the start of the third stage of Tirreno-Adriatico but he told Cyclingnews he is determined to fight the pain of his high-speed stage 2 crash and stay in the race.
Viviani crashed at 70km/h after Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quickstep) moved slightly after his chain came off the chainring when he powered on the pedals to launch his sprint. Viviani had nowhere to go and rode in Cavendish, landing hard on his hip and lower back.
He got up and finished the stage and was not diagnosed with any fractures and so was determined to continue in Tirreno-Adriatico.
“When you crash 70km/h it’s never good. It was a tough day. It was bad but I’m also lucky not to be injured, I’m only full of abrasions. We’re ready to carry on racing,” Viviani told Cyclingnews before the start of the stage.
“I’m facing three hard days before the next sprint stage on Monday but I hope I can make it. I was feeling good before the crash and think I could have won, that’s why I want to stay in Tirreno and use the racing to prepare for the Classics.”
Cavendish didn’t need to apologise
Viviani is good friends with Cavendish despite their fierce rivalry in the sprints. Viviani confirmed to Cyclingnews that the Manxman rang him after the stage to apologise and see how he was feeling.
“Cav called me last night to say he was sorry but he didn’t need to do that because it wasn’t his fault,” Viviani said. “It was a mechanical problem and that’s part of cycling. The only problem is that it happened with 200m to go when we were going so fast.”
“People have blamed Cav and he might have done a few things in previous sprints but he had a bike problem in the last 200m in the key moment of the sprint and I was right behind him. I was in the best place for the sprint but went down hard.”
Viviani hurt his left hip and lower back and suffered abrasions on his left arm. He was in pain as he sat on his bike but had been given the best possible care and treatment by Team Sky.
“I was scared after the crash because I hurt my hip and lower back but fortunately nothing was broken. All the staff at Team Sky helped me and so I’m able to race on. I hope I’m okay and can now make it to the end of Tirreno-Adriatico.”