Jelly Belly-Maxxis rider Serghei Tvetcov tangled with a TV moto Monday during stage 1 of the USA Pro Challenge in Aspen, but the Moldovan rider was able to remount his bike, regain the peloton and eventually finish 13th on the stage with a large group of GC contenders.
The incident occurred as the pack ascended the second climb of the day on the first lap. The TV moto was attempting to pass the peloton when a spectator leaped into the road and forced the moto to take evasive action. Unfortunately for Tvetcov, the moto and fan collided, knocking the bike into Tvetcov's front wheel.
“I tried to ride in the front on the side of the road, and when the motorcycle tried to pass us, a spectator just jumped into the road," Tevtcov said. “[The moto] tried to avoid, I was looking and oh no, he didn't make it. He lost his balance and hit my front wheel and I flipped over. My wheel was in two parts, so I was like, 'OK.'”
Tvetcov said he burned a few matches getting back into the group, but in the end he was able to make it and still finish well.
“I wasted a little energy of course trying to come back because it took a pretty long time to change the wheel,” Tevtcov said. “But I'm alright and I finished in the front. I came in the first group of about 15 guys.”
The Jelly Belly team leader was fortunate that the accident occurred early in the race and on an uphill pitch. “If that happened on a downhill it would have been way, way worse,” he said.
Tvetcov also had a little advice for the spectators at this week's race.
“Just try and stand in a good spot and just be careful,” he said. “Stay out of the way. Enjoy the race, but stay back.”