Alessandro Bertolini has won his first-ever stage of the Giro d'Italia and it happened in part, because of the fall which took out one of the three riders sprinting for the line. As a cyclist himself, Mike Tomalaris has hit the bitumen from time to time, and reflects on the calamity.
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

Crashes, crashes and more crashes.
Like this nasty one

It's every cyclist's nightmare and every photographer's dream in a Grand Tour not to mention the television viewer who always seems to grimace when there's carnage.
More skin has been taken off more riders than I care to remember in a big race like this year's Giro.

I've lost count of the riders who have come down.

Podcast: video highlights of every stage of the 2008 Giro d'Italia

Some of whom have been forced to leave the race prematurely, others have soldiered on bravely - all in the line of duty with the view of taking victory.
Why have there been so many accidents?
Well, apart from the wet conditions which have followed the Giro for at least seven of the 11 stages, the course design this year really leaves a lot to be desired.
Today's stage 11 took the peloton up and over the Monte Carpegna summit which rises to more than 1350 metres.
With the weather closing in and at such a height it goes without saying that narrow and tight roads can be expected.
But the course was so dangersous today it left riders with very little room for margin and error especially on the decents.
The end result was several names kissing the bitumen including race leader Giovanni Visconti whose pink jersey turned grey and red today from the grime on the road and the cuts from his limbs which stained the Giro's most prestigious item of clothing.
Compared to the Tour de France and several other big races in Europe and Australia, the roads at the Giro in 2008 have been quite scary.
If it wasn't for the cobbles of the Paris-Roubaix, I'd say some of the stages would be worse for a big event such as this.
The Giro has lost the likes of Brad McGee, Stuart O'Grady, Magnus Backstedt and Rik Verbrugghe to name only a few.
Their absence has robbed fans of their talents which otherwise would not have been so had the roads through Italy have been safer.