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Jim Stemper (Kenda-5 Hour Energy) gets a helping hand from eventual stage winner Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp).
Rider struck by race medical vehicle during opening stage
Stage 1 of the Redlands Bicycle Classic ended poorly for 5-hour Energy/Kenda rider Jim Stemper, who was struck by the race medical vehicle after chasing back to the main group during Wednesday's Highland Circuit Race.
"He had two punctures on the day," 5-hour Energy director Frankie Andreu told Cyclingnews while en route to today's time trial in Biog Bear. "The second time he was trying to catch back up to the group, and the medical car ran into him."
Stemper's bike and a wheel were broken in the crash, but he was able to get a new ride and finish the stage more than eight minutes down on winner Dion Smith (Hincapie Sportswear).
After the race, Stemper was diagnosed with a broken collarbone and will not start today.
"He's out," Andreu confirmed.
Stemper conveyed his frustration on Twitter, writing, "Congratulations! For your long chase back to the group, you get to be run over by the med car! At least the doctors were on scene spit spot," and, "X-Rays show broken collarbone. Time to start doing everything to get back racing asap, I didn't train that hard to watch other guys race!"
Stemper, 28, is a five-year veteran of the team and was part of a heated battle for the Tour of California mountains classification last year. He placed second in the mountains classification at the Tour de Beauce in 2013.
The 5-hour Energy team is now down to just seven riders in the Redlands race. Chad Beyer is currently the team's best placed rider, sitting 16 seconds down in 28th with four stages remaining.