The crash occurred just before the start of the Blockhaus climb, at 14 kilometres remaining, and Movistar kept driving at the head of the pack while Yates, Geraint Thomas and many others remained on the ground behind.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
“I think the decision Movistar made was incorrect,” Orica-Scott sports director Matt White said.
“There was no break they were chasing, it was a downhill section. Everyone was aware what happened in that crash.
“The best decision on a sporting front would’ve been to been to slow down for one or two minutes, it would’ve given time for guys to get off the deck.
“There was no need to push the pace as they did. It’s disappointing, because I have a lot of respect for that team but I think they made a poor decision today.”
Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) hit the motorbike first. He broke his finger and abandoned. Sky riders falling were Thomas, Landa, Diego Rosa, Sebastian Henao, Vasil Kiryienka and Kenny Elissonde.
Yates fell in the chaos. He would not come out to speak to the press because the team said he was with the doctor. White said, “he’s fine” but “disappointed.”
The 24-year-old raced on with his bike broken and wheel rubbing with the help of Carlos Verona and Rubén Plaza.
“I don’t understand why the police motorbike stalled the way he did, whether it was an accident or whatever it was. It was certainly unnecessary and had a massive affect on our team and many teams. It’s been a disaster really,” White continued.
“As is for everyone, we put a lot of effort into preparing for a race like this and it’s a big blow for his GC ambitions, but we have to reassess.
‘There is a lot more climbing to come and a lot more opportunities come. It’s a bad day but we have to move on.”
“We were ahead and the team was pulling hard in the race, that was the order of the team directors,” Quintana explained.
“We didn’t even know what had happened behind, we didn’t know that it was as bad as it turned out to be.
“I am sorry for them, the race was already running. It’s hard to stop the race at that moment, to organise something. It’s too bad that something like that happened.”