Largely unpracticed on the Belgian cobblestones of west Flanders, Team Spidertech lost all but one of their riders to crashes on the final day of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen on Sunday – and all within a few blurred kilometres.
In a strong tactical position approaching the key cobbled section of the race, rain, mud and dash of misfortune played their part to derail the team's ambitions, as Sporting Director Kevin Field explained.
"We had a good plan to approach all stages, and it went well until the cobbles on the Steenstraat after 132km of racing. Then everything went pear-shaped- fast.
"Normally the cobble section may not have been a big deal. But with the mud covering the wet cobbles - carnage is the only word that can describe what happened on about a 2-kilometre section of road and we were the victims of it."
Hugo Houle (Spidertech Powered By C10), the team's best placed GC hope was among the casualties, as was Ryan Roth. Several riders tried to continue but through punctures or their injuries eventually abandoned.
"When the dust settled we had one rider in the front group - [Keven] Lacombe," added Field. "On the one hand we are steeped in disappointment. On the other, what can you say? It was a beautiful day, a classic Belgian day, filled with the drama that makes cycling an amazing sport. It happens, we pick ourselves up, lick our wounds and move on."
The only positive to come from the day for Spidertech was that no riders in the team were seriously injured.
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