Almost seven months on from crashing out on that now infamous stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Sergio Pardilla says that he’s still waiting for a comment, let alone an apology, from the event organisers. Pardilla was one of many riders to collide at high speed with metal bollards on the finishing straight of the stage 2 into Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Pardilla and his lawyers have made numerous attempts to contact Organizaciones Ciclistas Euskadi, who manage the race, but have not yet received a response. Pardilla is also frustrated that they issued such a swift apology to Greg Van Avermaet after he was hit by a race motor bike during the Clasica San Sebastian, which they also organise.
“They have ignored the subject,” Pardilla told Spanish sports paper Marca. “I don’t know anything, they haven’t responded to our calls or letters. With Van Avermaet, when he was run over in Clasica San Sebastian they sent him a letter in Spanish. For me, not even this.”
Peter Stetina (BMC) was another rider seriously injured in the accident. The American was left with broken ribs, tibia and patella and told Cyclingnews in June that he was considering legal action against the organisers. Pardilla’s lawyer Mutua Navarra didn’t discount that option and said that the organisers must take some responsibility.
“The responsibility for what Sergio has lost in this time and the conditions for insurance when you cannot be in competition should be covered by the organisers. I will send another request soon and if we don’t have to sue at least there is the act of reconciliation,” he explained.
Pardilla has been unable to return to racing since the incident at the start of April this season. The 31-year-old suffered a hemopneumothorax, fractures in both shoulder blades, the ulna of the left arm, four ribs, a broken finger in his left hand and he destroyed the metacarpals of the same hand. The seriousness of his injuries meant that he was unable to do some of the simplest tasks for himself.
“For two months, my girlfriend was helping me with everything,” said Pardilla. “I couldn’t do anything for myself or go to the bathroom. It was like a ‘Playmobil.’”
Pardilla, who turns 32 in January, doesn’t know if he will be able to return to the form he had before the accident, and while the team have moved to assure him he can remain but they are yet to sign a new deal.
“Those responsible for Caja Rural-Seguros RGA have called me many times and I say there is no problem to renew, that they count on me, but the fact is I still haven’t.”