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Given the seriousness of the two accidents that involved riders of Tinkoff-Saxo at the Vuelta a España, the team will consider whether it is safe to continue racing under the current arrangements

Photo: Sirotti

SERGIO PAULINHO

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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02.09.2015 @ 23:41 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Can organizers of Vuelta a España guarantee a safe race? This is the question everybody involved in the sport of cycling should be asking after Sergio Paulinho was hit by a reckless TV motorcycle in the first kilometers of the Vuelta stage 11.

 

Exactly four days after Peter Sagan was hit and taken down by a neutral assistance motorbike, another Tinkoff-Saxo rider, Sergio Paulinho, is forced to abandon the Vuelta a España because of the reckless and unacceptable behavior of a TV motorbike.

 

According to Paulinho, he was alone at the front of the race as the peloton was set to tackle the first climb to the Collada de Beixalis summit, approximately three kilometers into the race. Just before the start of the ascent, Paulinho took a right turn at fast pace, rapidly approaching a TV motorbike that was in front of him, in the middle of the road, in breach of safety regulations. Just as Paulinho was reaching the motorbike, its driver did not make any apparent move to avoid the collision, continued on its course and hit Paulinho on his left leg.

 

The Tinkoff-Saxo rider didn't fall after the impact but kept on riding, with his left leg bleeding intensely after suffering a cut. In the heat of the battle, Paulinho rode away but as the bleeding wouldn't stop, he was attended by the race doctor, approximately at the sixth kilometer of the race. Paulinho had to lie down on the road as the race doctor applied the first staples on the wound, in an effort to close it. The Portuguese rider decided to continue racing and went back on his bike, trying to make it to the top of the climb.

 

However, the intense pain turned the climb into an ordeal for Paulinho, who was forced to abandon a few hundred meters before the stage's first summit. He was taken to the hospital in Andorra where the doctors applied six internal and eleven external stitches. The internal stitches were needed in order to close an artery that was affected by the hit. Paulinho will undergo further medical examinations.

 

Given the seriousness of the two accidents that involved riders of Tinkoff-Saxo at the Vuelta a España, the team will consider whether it is safe to continue racing under the current arrangements.

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