Mavi Garcia hit by own team car on hectic Tour de France Femmes gravel stage

EPERNAY FRANCE JULY 26 Margarita Victoria Garcia Caellas of Spain and UAE Team ADQ crosses the finishing line during the 1st Tour de France Femmes 2022 Stage 3 a 1336km stage from Reims to pernay TDFF UCIWWT on July 26 2022 in Epernay France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images
Mavi Garcia had a nightmare afternoon on the gravel (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Mavi Garcia’s overall ambitions at the Tour de France Femmes Avec Zwift were destroyed by her own UAE Team ADQ team car during the final kilometres of stage 4 after the vehicle hit the Spanish champion’s rear wheel, causing her to crash. 

Garcia had suffered two punctures on the dirt road sectors, making two bike changes, the second while leading the front group of favourites with 20km to race. She was then joining a chase group when her team car clipped her rear wheel from behind. 

She crashed at speed but managed to avoid serious injury by rolling along the road. She suffered road rash on her left shoulder and side but bravely got up to continue riding. 

Despite pacing behind her team car, Garcia was unable to chase back to the yellow jersey group and slowed to have medical treatment by the race doctor.

She crossed the line in 33rd place, in a group of riders 3:11 down on the stage winner Marlen Reusser (SD Worx) and 1:31 down on the main group of general classification contenders. 

Garcia had started stage 4 in sixth place overall at 55 seconds. She had lost 29 seconds on stage 2 but bounced back on stage 3, only losing six seconds on the uphill finish. 

She now slips to 11th overall, 2:26 down on race leader Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma).

UAE Team ADQ directeur sportif Rubens Bertogliati told Cyclingnews that Garcia was not serously hurt and explained why the team car was so close to Garcia as she joined the chase group.     

“She’s okay. She got back into the peloton,” Bertogliati told Cyclingnews.

“We had to change the bike three times, one time for the wheel, and then she had to use a different bike. So when she changed again, everyone was stressed and she was also stressed. 

“The problem is that she moved [across the road]. Okay, the car should be back but we were there to give her a bottle after we’d changed the bike. She didn’t see the car because she wanted to go onto the wheel of the other riders.” 

Bertogliati was convinced the dirt roads sectors during stage 4 made the Tour de France Femmes too dangerous.    

“It was dangerous, maybe too dangerous, and too difficult for the girls. The gravel was very hard,” he said.

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