Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) crashed out of the Volta ao Algarve during Friday’s time trial while leading the race but was happy to avoid serious injury, leaving hospital with just six stitches in a cut to his chin.
The Spaniard won Thursday’s second stage atop the important Alto da Foia climb ahead of Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) to take the race lead and so started last in the 18km time trial.
As the in-car video captured by French website Cycling Pro Net below shows, Sanchez crashed after losing control of his bike on a dirt section of road as he approached the turning point in the time trial. The team explained that a gust of wind knocked Sanchez off balance but the poor road surface approaching the turn point also seemed to play a part.
Sanchez went down hard on his right side and hit his chin on the ground. He got up quickly but was unable to continue and was taken to hospital for treatment. He later returned to the team hotel, giving a thumbs up to show he was not seriously hurt.
“Today was an unlucky day for the Astana Pro Team here at the Volta ao Algarve” directeur sportif Alexandr Shefer explained.
“It was a windy day and the race route was quite open on the uphill just up to the sea. When we arrived to the roundabout close to the lighthouse a gust of wind while Sanchez was turning on an irregular surface caused his falling down. Unfortunately he collided with the chin on the ground cutting himself and losing some blood. For this reason he was forced to abandon the race.”