Remarkably few injuries from Tour of Poland mass crash

Katusha’s Belkov with 25 stitches

One quick touch of wheels in the sprint finale, and all but nine riders in the Tour of Poland’s second stage were stopped within sight of the finish line. Maxim Belkov of Katusha was the most seriously injured, while surprisingly most of the others rode away with only scrapes and minor pains.

Belkov went to hospital after the stage and was diagnosed with a muscle rupture, and given 25 stitches.

Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) was the first to hit the ground, after touching wheels with Lampre-Merida’s Sacha Modolo, and that set off the domino effect. Luckily, he suffered only minor scratches.

All eight of BMC’s riders were involved, with Marcus Burghardt the first to hit the ground. "I was coming up on the right side, just accelerating, and I had good speed and was moving up," Burghardt said on the team’s website. "Then I moved into the center to get a free wheel and the rider crashed right in front of me. I had no chance."

His teammate Silvan Diller wasn’t so lucky, and ended up celebrating his 25th birthday with a bruise in his lower back.

Three Movistar riders hit the deck. Gorka Izagirre had “several blows, especially to his knee”, Juan Jose Lobato came away with “pain in his tibia,” and Francisco Ventoso remained “almost unscathed”, the team reported.

World champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) was another who couldn’t avoid the pile-up. “ Fortunately I could see the crash while it was happening, so I had the time to brake and avoided hitting riders ahead of me, or any around me, with high speed. However, I went down over the top of riders and hit my back and my chest. When I went down I feel a little bit of pain and hope it's nothing serious. But as usual we have to wait and see overnight, and make an evaluation about it in the morning."

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