Peter Stetina of Garmin-Barracuda was struck by a car whilst training in Herning Friday morning. He was not hurt and the only damage his bike sustained was to the rear wheel. The Giro d'Italia starts Saturday in the Danish town.
Stetina and teammates Alex Rasmussen were out on the time trial course, which was still open to traffic. “We couldn't do anything. All of a sudden there was just a rider in front of the car. I'm just glad we got to slow down, so we did not hit him harder,” the car driver told sporten.dk.
The driver was not charged by the police with any violations.
The road was to be blocked by the police in the afternoon for training. The two riders were accompanied by a police motorcycle escort in the morning.
Garmin-Barracuda sport director Johnny Weltz was furious. “Fortunately, nothing happened to Peter, although he is still in shock. But for the team as such, it has marred the preparations that we should have had for the prologue,” he told sporten.dk.
“It is a technical route in several places and therefore it is important for a rider like Alex to know it thoroughly. Therefore, we had also teamed up with a motorcycle escort, just to be sure that no cars are on the route and it happens anyway,” said Weltz.
According to sport.tv2.dk, the team apparently thought the road would be blocked to traffic between 10 and 12 in the morning. Local organizers denied this, saying that all sport directors had been informed of the situation at a meeting with police.
Niels Frydenlund, press spokesman for the local organising committee, said that they did not blame themselves for the accident. “We have taken security measures that we thought were reasonable and it seems they were. We were in agreement with RCS (the Italian race organisers),” he told Ekstrabladet.dk.
“There was a motorcycle policeman in front of every team and the teams were informed of traffic on the route. We believe we have done everything we could.”