Giro d'Italia race director defends work of police motorcyclists in wake of Geraint Thomas crash

Mauro Vegni says crash was down to "error of judgement"

A parked moto caused havoc in the peloton as Geraint Thomas, Mikel Landa and Adam Yates crashed into it. Thomas suffered injuries and dropped five minutes on the day's eventual winner, Nairo Quintana.
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Giro d'Italia race director Mauro Vegni has spoken out in defence of the work of the Italian police following the crash on stage nine which effectively ended the GC hopes of Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Adam Yates (Orica-Scott).

The two Brits were among a number of riders brought down in a crash near the start of the final climb of stage nine, colliding with a police motorcycle which had stopped at the side of the road.

>>> Nairo Quintana wins on Blockhaus as Giro d'Italia stage nine marred by motorbike crash

While Yates lost 4-39 and Thomas 5-08 to new race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Team Sky co-leader Mikel Landa lost more than 25 minutes and Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) was forced to abandon.

The incident sparked anger in the peloton, with Geraint Thomas understandably expressing disappointment, while Orica-Scott sports director Matt White directed his ire at Movistar for failing to ease off the pace after the crash.

Watch: Giro d'Italia stage nine highlights

But despite the anger of many involved in the race, Vegni was quick to come to the defence of the police, emphasising the important role they play in the race despite this unfortunate incident.

"I do not want this episode to ruin the work that the police have been doing for many years, thinking only about the safety of riders," Vegni told Gazzetta dello Sport, before explaining why the police motorcyclist had stopped ahead of the main pack.

>>> Five talking points from stage nine o fthe Giro d'Italia

"In stages like this there are many bunches behind and the policeman was waiting to cover and protect them.

"Perhaps it was an error of judgement to stop where he did, on a narrow section of road. He could have perhaps pulled over 100m further on."

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.