Astana's Gorka Izagirre pulled off the save of the Giro d'Italia, if not the entire 2021 season, as he narrowly avoided colliding into a parked car on a descent during stage 16.
Izagirre was off the front in the day's breakaway on the reduced queen stage of the Italian Grand Tour, following Movistar's Antonio Pedrero down a short descent before the Passo Giau climb.
The Spaniard took the corner too quickly in the wet conditions, going wide and off into the grass, managing to stay upright as he passed two cars parked on the verge, then unclipping as he had to swerve to avoid a third vehicle parked further out.
It couldn't have been closer as Izagirre just dodged out of the way of the back of the car, which was jutting out, clipping back in but slowing down as Pedrero continued unaware.
Pfieeeeeuw dat was close.... pic.twitter.com/SFIOp6mNZpMay 24, 2021
Falling back, race radio soon announced that Izagirre had suffered a front flat, and was soon caught by the remnants of the GC bunch as they began the big climb of the day.
More bad luck befell his team-mate Aleksandr Vlasov, who was dropped by the group of overall contenders after apparently getting his rain jacket caught in his chain.
Stage 16 saw two of the day's climbs cut, and the distance reduced from 212km to 155km due to extreme weather.
The Passo Fedaia and what was supposed to be this year's cima coppi, the Passo Pordoi, were removed with riders instead heading straight to the Passo Giau.
Luck has been on Astana's side these past couple of days, with three of their riders brought down in the big crash that disrupted stage 15.
Gorka Izagirre, Samuele Battistella and Vadim Pronskiy were brought down but managed to get back up and continue.
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