IAM Cycling endured a luckless stage 2 at the Vuelta a España as crashes claimed Matteo Pelucchi early on before a mass pile up with 30km to race brought down David Tanner with the Australian suffering a broken pelvis. Italian sprinter Pelucchi was caught up in a crash just two kilometres into the 158.7km stage from Alhaurin de la Torre to Caminito del Rey suffering abrasions and road rash on his left side.
Having won back-to-back stages at the Tour de Pologne earlier this month, Pelucchi was looking to continue his form and challenge for wins in the bunch finishes. Sport director Michael Albasini explained the team was only just coming to terms with losing its sprinter so early in the race when disaster struck for a second time on Spanish roads.
"We certainly have not enjoyed the type of start that we would have liked," Albasini said. "The first big crash resulting in Matteo Pelucchi’s withdrawal was already a huge hit to the morale. But then also to lose David Tanner was almost the final straw.
"I saw Matteo crash. It was a pretty fast descent, he had to take a turn and his front wheel slipped out from under him without any reason. The road was pretty slippery, and I think he was surprised. As for David's mishap, the peloton was travelling at a very high speed when he crashed into the pile-up."
Albasini added that regardless of the hand the team has been dealt, the Swiss WorldTour outfit will remain true to its pre-race strategy.
"From now on, we will continue to fight as a team," he added. "Our objectives will remain the same; we will not change any of our tactics. Of course a stage win will be harder to achieve now, but we will continue to believe in our chances."