Some bad luck for our boys from the Southeast in today’s stage of the Giro d’ Italia. The course featured sections of white gravel (for a total of 23 kilometers) made famous by the one-day race Strade Bianchi, which made the racing treacherous. Numerous riders crashed and the most serious was Rabobank’s Tom Slagter who, at the time of this report, suffered a broken collarbone and eye socket.
At the end of the day it was his Rabobank teammate Pieter Weening who took the solo victory after bridging up to the break and then attacking.
While his teammate went solo for 180 kilometers of Wednesday’s 201 km stage and earned the King of the Mountains jersey, Chris Butler crashed with about 50 kilometers remaining. He succinctly described his incident to Carolina Cycling News.
“Richie Porte (Saxo Bank) ate shit in front of me and took me down on the descent.”
Luckily this Grand Tour first timer only suffered scrapes and was able to finish the stage in the sprinter’s group. Unfortunately his teammate Chris Barton retired during the stage from a combination of exhaustion and injuries suffered from a crash in the feed zone of stage 2.
While Craig Lewis didn’t crash, he did have a bit of bad luck and remains hopeful in the upcoming stages.
“(I’m) just happy to be safe. I flatted on the last section of gravel with about one kilometer left of gravel. Saxo Bank gave me a wheel, but I was unable to come back to the front group by that point. Oh well, have to look for more opportunities down the road…”
Tomorrow’s stage is all up and down, but without any significant climbs. This could be a day for a break and maybe the opportunity Lewis is looking for.