Former Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre was amongst the riders that came off second best after the Giro d’Italia’s crash marred second stage. The Cervelo Test Team rider lost 37 seconds in the closing kilometres after being caught up in a crash.
"It's too bad, because I was always in a good position, trying to avoid being involved in all the crashes throughout the day, but in the final, with seven kilometres to go, there was a crash at the front of the peloton in which I was involved,” said Sastre. “It was a very fast stage with a lot of intersections, curves and traffic islands, with a ton of dangerous sections where you always had to be at the front.
"The team was 100 percent with me, we were able to regain contact with the second group that included [Bradley] Wiggins, and limit the losses to not lose options for this Giro," he added.
Sastre’s misfortunes summarized the team’s day on the road, with Gabriel Rasch, Ted King, Marcel Wyss and Daniel Lloyd all caught in tangles throughout the day. Cervelo sport director Alex Sans Vegas said he’d never seen so many crashes in dry conditions.
“The team did great work throughout the stage to keep Carlos at the front, but that’s where the crash happened. It was a shame because it wasn’t our fault, it was just bad luck,” said Sans Vega. “The roads were very dangerous, with a lot of traffic islands, barriers and narrow roads. It was the worse place to crash because the peloton was setting up the sprint and there was not enough time to regain contact.”
Lloyd summed up the impact of sprint stages for maglia rosa contenders well. “These are very important for the GC riders. They’re so dangerous. You cannot gain much, but here’s always the chance they can lose minutes,” Lloyd said. “These next two stages in Holland are very stressful. A lot can happen. It will be a two long days.”
While the 37 second deficit to current race leader Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) doesn’t end Sastre’s Giro contention, it’s certainly an unwelcome surprise. With less than two minutes the difference between first and second place in the race’s last three editions, the early loss puts Sastre on a slight back foot for the remaining 19 stages.