The Portuguese rider was knocked down by a TV moto and later forced to abandon the race part way through stage 11, requiring 17 stitches to his left leg.
Before the stage started and before Paulinho suffered his accident, Tinkoff-Saxo penned an open letter to Unipublic, the Vuelta organisers, and the UCI, cycling's governing body, demanding that measures be taken to increase rider safety in relation to race vehicles. It is an issue that has come to the boil recently with a number of unfortunate incidents, and Tinkoff-Saxo's letter followed a similar one from BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz addressed to the UCI.
Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov was forthright on Twitter in expressing his dismay at seeing another of his riders taken out of the race by a motorised vehicle.
Believe you or NOT? But Sergio Paulinho was hit today by TVE motorcycle and end up at hospital w 17 stitches. What a messy and shallow race!— Oleg Tinkov (@olegtinkov) September 2, 2015