The collision along the Tuscan shores in Lido di Camaiore caused both Oscar Gatto and Rafał Majka to crash. The pedestrian is reportedly fine, but in the hospital for scans.
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“I did see it, it was quite scary to watch,” Geraint Thomas (Sky) said after reviewing television images.
“There was a policeman there as well, it shouldn’t happen. Hopefully the guys are all right and they guy they hit because he looked like he was knocked out.”
“I saw it, that’s what you have the people on the side of the road for [the police],” added Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb).
“I saw the video and there was a guy there and he didn’t do anything. Yeah, it shouldn’t happen. Human mistakes I guess, but it’s costly.”
The police officer reportedly tried to alert the pedestrian of the oncoming team.
Bora-Hansgrohe raced the 21.5 kilometres under clearing skies as the early morning rain showers were just beginning to clear.
After the incident, both Majka and Gatto were able to continue on their own. The five others including Peter Sagan, Davide Formolo and Daniel Oss skirted danger. They placed an eventual 20th at 24-22 minutes behind. Majka’s race could be over as it is uncertain if he will start stage two.
“I saw [the pedestrian] on the other side, he was walking and I was trying to anticipate what might happen,” said Daniel Oss.
“I avoided him. I was in front and I was just looking forward, because with the bike and the rain. I don’t really understand. I’m really sorry for my team-mates and the man there. I don’t know. It’s bad.”
“I didn’t see that much, I just saw this man crossing the road and two riders on the tarmac,” said sports director Patxi Vila, who was in the team’s follow car.
“[The riders] should just have to ride, the only thing they think about in a TTT is to go as fast as possible so we guide them from the team car and we hope everything will be safe, but this time it was not.
“A crash in a TTT is always scary because the guys don’t have the possibly of braking, so they go full speed and crash against something. It’s not nice. Rafał has a big cut up [on his head], and Oscar had a big impact.”
Later in the afternoon, a woman with a dog nearly walked into the Mitchelton-Scott team on a winning ride with classification rider Adam Yates.
“I don’t think something like that should happen in a race,” explained new race leader Michael Hepburn.
“We also saw the lady with the dog with a kilometre to go. Luckily we were on the bars coming out of the corner and so we were able to react quickly. It could have been quite unpleasant.”