Mikel Landa (Movistar Team) took aim at Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) after the Giro d’Italia riders arrived scraped and bruised. The Spaniard later apologised for remarks made against Yates.
Several crashes marred the fourth stage to Frascati, south of Rome. Yates fell and lost time, and Movistar team leader Mikel Landa broke his bike in half in his crash.
“F***ing Yates, who’s an idiot and who was going crazy,” Landa told AS. “He took me down in the roundabout.”
Yates had said he was fighting for position going into a roundabout at six kilometres remaining in the 235-kilometre stage. He did not mention Landa.
Landa survived other incidents but finally fell victim. With his Canyon bike smashed, he had to climb on team-mate Lluis Mas’s bike.
Salvatore Puccio (Ineos) touched wheels with another rider and triggered a wave of crashes. Sunweb riders, including 2017 winner Tom Dumoulin, and Katusha riders fell during the final, too.
Landa in 2017 with Team Sky won a stage and the mountains classification in the Giro and then placed fourth in the Tour de France. He took aim at Yates.
“It sucks when things happen that do not depend on yourself,” the Basque rider added.
“In the time trial, it was my fault, but today I was on the ground due to someone else. It’s not how I wanted to start.
“Of course, the sensations are even worse with this disadvantage against you.”
Landa had been beside Movistar team-mate Richard Carapaz and race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma). After the crash, Carapaz managed to hold off Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) for the stage win.
“At least some happiness on a bad day,” Landa said.
“The crash is no big deal, it’s time I’ve lost again. Now I’m nearly two minutes behind Roglic.”
Landa rolled in 42 seconds behind Roglič. It could have been worse considering Dumoulin lost 4-02 minutes. He now sits 1-49 minutes back in the race overall heading into stage five.