Elia Viviani crossed the finish line in Salsomaggiore Terme at the end of stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday escorted by three Cannondale teammates after crashing hard inside the final kilometre. Yet the Italian vowed to race on, despite also suffering with a fever.
Viviani was clearly in pain as he weaved through the crowed and other riders, desperate to find solace in his team bus. The back of his green Cannondale jersey was in shreds, with his race radio taking some of impact of his high-speed crash but also no-doubt digging into his back on impact.
Italian television showed numerous replays of the crash, highlighting how Farrar had touched Roberto Ferrari's back wheel and then lost his balance. Viviani was behind him and went down hard, with others riding into him.
Farrar told Cyclingnews he was unhurt but had clearly landed on his right thigh and was left with road rash and bruising. The official race medical bulletin also listed Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF) and Tosh van der Sande (Lotto Belisol) as victims of the crash but said all the rider finished the stage.
"I don’t understand what happened," Viviani told Italian television after recovering.
"I found Farrar across the road in front of me and it was impossible to avoid him. Then riders arrived on top of me. I took a lot of blows. I got one on my back and then riders came on top of me. When it's a bad day, it’s a bad day."
Viviani's bad day had started early. He began the stage with a fever after struggling on Sunday to Sestola and during the rest day on Monday. He was in tears as he crossed the line but promised not to give up the fight to win a stage in this year's Giro d'Italia.
"If I started today with a 38C fever, a crash won't end my Giro," he said defiantly.
"I think Bouhanni is beatable but he's not making mistakes and if you don’t mistakes you win."