The Cannondale team was left to lick its wounds and wonder what had happened after crashing at speed during the time trial stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, causing team leader Rigoberto Uran to lose 2:03 and virtually any chance of overall victory in this year’s race.
The eight Cannondale riders from the team were on a straight section of road after 6.5km of the 22.7km time trial, when something caused them their pace to drop, sparking the crash. Team leader Rigoberto Uran, Ramunas Navardauskas, Sebastian Langeveld and Kristjan Koren hit the road, leaving them with holes in the skin suits. Fortunately none of them were seriously injured and Uran and Koran got up quickly and managed to join up with their teammates. The team finished last in the results, 2:03 behind stage winner BMC.
Team time trials are a high-risk discipline, with riders forced to walk a thin line between riding closely together at high speed and crashing hard. The previous incarnations of the Cannondale team have had a painful and unfortunate record in recent years in team time trials. In the early days the team was one of the best in the world and won team time trials at the 2008 Giro d’Italia and the 2011 Tour de France. However the team crashed at the Vuelta a Espana in 2013, at the 2014 Giro d’Italia in Northern Ireland, and at the 2015 Giro del Trentino.
“We started out strong, we were really fast. At one point on the race course, something happened in the middle of the group between riders,” directeur sportif Fabrizio Guidi explained in a statement from the team.
“They touched each other and four guys crashed. We were forced to stop and wait for the fifth.”
Guidi tried to comfort his riders back at the team bus as riders warmed down on the rollers and tried to ease the pain in their legs.
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