Cannondale pull Toms Skujins from Tour of California after frightening crash on descent

The Latvian rider struggled to stand-up after appearing to bang his head on the road in a nasty crash

Cannondale-Drapac had no choice but to pull their Latvian rider Toms Skujins from the Tour of California on stage two over safety fears for the rider after he crashed heavily on a descent.

The 25-year-old was riding with a five-man breakaway group on a descent with 22.9km remaining of the 144.5km stage when he crashed heavily on his side as the bike slid from under him.

Skujins immediately tried to get back up as a neutral service mechanic picked his bike up, but struggled to stand after appearing to hit his head.

He then tried to mount his bike but then crashed on his left-hand side as he continued to look dazed.

Appearing to try to retrieve his Garmin which had fallen off in the second crash, Skujins then almost collided with riders chasing on as they came past and he tried to cross the road back to where his bike was.

Luckily the riders were able to avoid him and Skujins, who had torn most of his jersey apart and lost a lot of skin attempted to ride off. Almost hitting a kerb, Skujins the slowly made his way down the descent looking worse for wear.

Meanwhile, there were floods of messages across social media from shocked viewers who were clear the Skujins shouldn't have been allowed to continue the race.

Unfortunately his team car was some way behind with Skujins in the breakaway, and phone and TV signal wasn't allowing the team back at the buses to see what was happening on the road.

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Those messages on Twitter reached Cannondale-Drapac boss Jonathan Vaughters, who was eventually able to get through to the directors in the team car and they were able to pull Skujins out of the race.

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The group Skujins had crashed in was able to make it to the finish, where Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) was able to beat George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) to the line to take the stage and the overall lead.

Richard Windsor
Richard Windsor

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).