Damiano Caruso’s chances of delivering a high GC result at the Tour of the Basque Country may have ended after he crashed into a car on the opening stage, but that didn’t stop him taking to the start line of stage two and even making it into the breakaway
Going into the race as one of a number of GC options for BMC Racing, Caruso came to grief on the approach to the steep final climb of Eikano Gaina, clipping the wing mirror of a car parked at the side of the road.
Crashing at the worst possible time, Caruso was unable to regain contact on the final climb and the technical descent that followed, eventually crossing the line in 141st place, nearly 10 minutes down on stage winner Julian Alaphilippe.
“In the final, before the last climb, it was really chaotic. There were cars on the side of the road and I hit a side mirror of one of the cars with my shoulder. It was really painful at the time but it doesn’t seem to be broken or anything like that,” Caruso said after completing the stage.
“Now I have lost the chance to go for the general classification. Tomorrow [Tuesday], a new race starts. I’m still motivated and feeling good. Now we will change the goal for the remaining stages.”
Impressively, Caruso was on the start line in Zarautz for another challenging hilly 153km stage to Bermeo, forgetting about any cuts and bruises from the day before to get into the breakaway on stage two.
Unfortunately for BMC, the opening stage also saw its other GC options drop out of contention with Dylan Teuns finishing in 39th place at 1-46 and Richie Porte finishing in 89th place at 7-07.