EF Pro Cycling's Sergio Higuita has dismissed his crash with around 25 kilometres left to race on stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné on Thursday as "a real shame, but it is what it is". The Colombian road race champion was able to remount and finish the stage, while teammate Dani Martinez kept pace with the front group on the summit finish on the Col de Porte and is now the team's best hope for the GC, 20 seconds down on race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) in 10th place overall.
Higuita appeared to clip a road sign on an island in the middle of the road while still part of the large front group, which was later whittled down on the final climb, and the crash brought down a number of other riders, including Israel Start-Up Nation's Dan Martin.
"I'm feeling OK after the crash today, and luckily there's nothing broken," said Higuita on his team's website "It's only some bruising, but I hit quite hard just above my right knee, and there's a bit of swelling, so we iced it to help take it down and we'll see how it is tomorrow.
"I was in the lead group and I was feeling good," he added. "At that moment, it was fairly calm when we were up there. Around four kilometers out from the start of the last climb is when it happened, which was a real shame, but it is what it is. There's nothing we can do about it now."
Fellow Colombian climber Rigoberto Uran was unable to follow the best in the final kilometres on the Col de Porte, and shipped 1:37 on the stage, but compatriot Martinez kept the team's GC hopes alive with his seventh place on the stage, and will likely be the team's main focus for the remaining three stages of the five-day French race.
"It wasn't great to see Sergio crash since he was going to be a key player with me on the final climb, but my legs were feeling good and felt like they were racing well," the Colombian time trial champion said. "I was a little bit behind some of the others, but it was good to still make it to the line with the best riders.
"It was a day where there was a really strong pace set by Team Ineos at the beginning of the climb and then Jumbo-Visma towards the end of the stage, but I'm feeling good, and I'm looking forward to the next few days and the battles they'll involve," said Martinez.
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