• Patrick Bevin. (Getty)Source: Getty
Patrick Bevin (CCC) finished the fifth stage but was transported to the hospital via ambulance immediately after for scans and did not attend the daily podium ceremony.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
19 Jan 2019 - 7:34 PM  UPDATED 19 Jan 2019 - 7:36 PM

The 27-year-old was one of several riders that crashed 10km from the finish following an apparent touch of wheels. Bevin remarkably got back onto the charging bunch with the assistance of teammates and maintained his position on the general classification.

However, CCC general manager Jim Ochowicz speaking at the team van was reluctant to brush aside the crash and talk stage six tactics. Bevin’s condition wasn’t clear at the time of print on Saturday night.

“It’s always better when you don’t hit the deck. I can’t tell you, it depends on what the medical report is tonight,” Ochowicz said. “This kind of thing is a little harder.”

Television footage had earlier showed one teammate propping-up Bevin as he limped onto a spare bike with bloodied arms and legs.

“We regrouped and got him up. We had to get him a new bike directly, that takes time, then push him off and get everybody else coming back from the peloton,” Ochowicz said.

“He got back on just in time to get in there and also continue to move up through the group. It’s one thing if you catch the back end but that’s not enough, you have to move up 40-50 places to make sure you’re not in a split.”

Controversy and crashes on TDU fifth stage
Caleb Ewan has been relegated from stage five of the Tour Down Under in what was a dramatic day of racing that saw injured race leader Patrick Bevin transported to hospital.

Bevin and the CCC team had been aggressive throughout the 149.5km sprint stage, contesting the intermediate primes to garner time bonuses in the close hunt for the general classification.

He maintained a seven-second advantage over Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott). Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) is 11 seconds adrift and marquee climbers including Willunga Hill “master” Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) 26 seconds in arrears.

Television commentators declared the peloton had sat-up and waited for Bevin to get back on but that wasn’t the case.

“It’s hard to slow people down in the last 10km. If it had happened 25-30km from the finish I’d expect a slow down until we got back in position, but the sprinter teams are up there trying to win, and you can’t control that,” Ochowicz said.