On a day that will be remembered for a large crash that forced out Tejay van Garderen and others, here’s what caught our eye on stage eight of the 2015 Vuelta a España.
Race vehicle involved in a crash, again
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This year has seen several crashes caused by or involving race vehicles and motorbikes. This appears to have happened again at the Vuelta a España when Peter Sagan was reportedly knocked down by a motorcycle.
He was clearly very angered by the incident, in no small part due to the fact that he may have won the stage had he reached the finish line with the lead group.
This will once again ignite the debate around the actions of the support personnel around professional cycling and see the input of the UCI.
Tejay’s bad luck continues
BMC team leader Tejay van Garderen was forced to abandon the 2015 Vuelta a España after getting caught up in a crash with about 50km remaining on the stage.
The American came to the Vuelta hoping to make up for his unfortunate Tour de France where he was forced to withdraw with illness, at a time when a podium finish still looked like a plausible outcome.
… as does Bouhanni’s
Also a casualty of an early exit from the Tour, but through a crash rather than illness, Nacer Bouhanni was also hoping to make amends in Spain.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be as he was once again taken down in the day’s large crash. In contrast to the other fallers – van Garderen, Kris Boeckmans (Lotto-Soudal) and Daniel Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) – Bouhanni was seen to be back on his bike and riding.
He was later forced to abandon the stage further down the road, however, as the extent of his injuries became clear.
Froome’s not out of it yet
After dropping time to his main rivals on the previous day, Chris Froome and Team Sky showed that they aren’t out of contention just yet.
The British team massed on the front at important points during the stage, including the stretch of road that saw the main crash of the day, and worked to protect their leader (or leaders, depending on how the race pans out).
Protecting their interests in the shape of both Froome and Nicolas Roche, who sits third on GC, the team rode well and saw their men safely across the finish line in the same time as the other main GC contenders.
Dumoulin once again strikes out
As mentioned yesterday, Tom Dumoulin is clearly no slouch. Today he once again rode off the front of the peloton in his quest to overcome the small time deficit Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) holds over him in the race for the red jersey.
What’s more, for a tall time trial specialist, the Dutchman made his attack on an uphill section of the finishing circuit.
It’s probably fair to say that neither rider will be vying for red when the race rolls into Madrid on stage 21, but for the time being this seems to be the race within a race.