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"I was really proud of him and I even complemented him on the road today for how good he was going and how much progression he’d made over these last weeks. It’s a big blow as well to us as a team," Evans says

Photo: Sirotti






20.05.2014 @ 19:51 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Today's 10th stage of the Giro d'Italia was a dangerous affair and the technical run-in to the finish caused several crashes. Cadel Evans managed to stay safe in his maglia rosa but lost teammate Yannick Eijssen who has luckily broken no bones.


Cadel Evans avoided several crashes Tuesday at the Giro d'Italia on his way to a ninth-place finish and retention of the maglia rosa leader's jersey. But the BMC Racing Team lost the services of teammate Yannick Eijssen, who crashed with less than 20 kilometers to go and was taken to hospital by rescue squad.

The BMC Racing Team's leader said resumption of racing after the second rest day might have contributed to the crashes, which included one on a turn near the finish and the one with Eijssen when the pack was also riding fast.


“On paper it already looked a little bit intimidating to me," Evans said. "I think there we’ve got fresher riders, a bigger group coming in to the finish, and of course riders maybe seeing it as one of their last opportunities, the sprinters there, so they’re possibly taking more risks on the descent, and then of course, in the final there, with all the corners, there’s only so much space for so many riders, but a lot more want to be in the front.”


Nacer Bouhanni ( won his third stage ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) and Michael Matthews (ORICA-GreenEDGE) in the 173-kilometer race.

Eijssen hit his elbow and landed hard on his chest in the crash. But X-rays revealed no broken bones, said BMC Racing Team Dr. Giovanni Ruffini. The loss of Eijssen, who was riding his first Giro after helping Evans win the Giro del Trentino, will be felt, Sport Director Fabio Baldato said.


"It is a big loss because Yannick was doing well and riding strongly," he said. "It is important to have all of your riders when you are fighting to win the Giro. A lot of other teams have already lost riders and now it is harder for us."


“We only hear these things on the radio, we don’t know what happens. and I only saw the images on TV after the race at the finish," Evans said. "To see a neck brace on anyone is scary - they say it’s only a precautionary measure - but of course we miss one team-mate.


"I first met him when he stagiaired in 2009 with our team, and I was really proud of him and I even complemented him on the road today for how good he was going and how much progression he’d made over these last weeks. It’s a big blow as well to us as a team.”


After being examined at the hospital and treated for a wound on his elbow, Eijssen recalled what happened.


"After a roundabout, there was a long, small hole," he said. "I hit it and went over my handlebars. The next thing, (Sport Director) Jackson Stewart was already next to me in the car. I was just dizzy."


Eijssen said he has made it a habit of steering clear of crashes – until the Giro.


"The last three years, I have crashed maybe two or three times," he said. "Now I have crashed three days in a row. It is very strange how this happens. Bad luck, I think."


Eijssen said he hopes to be fully recovered in a week or two.


Heading into Wednesday's medium mountain stage, Evans holds a 57-second advantage over Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), with eight others within two minutes of the lead.


“The Giro is characteristic of these types of finishes, on small roads," Evans said about tomorrow's stage. "It’s another day, and we’ll search to be positioned well and pass without problems hopefully."



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