Evenepoel abandons Giro after heavy crash

Remco Evenepoel's Giro d'Italia came to an end after a dramatic crash on stage 17 on the descent of the Passo San Valentino.

Giro d'Italia

A nasty crash on a descent during Stage 17 saw Remco Evenepoel abandon the race. Source: SBS

The Belgian had been dropped at the base of the category 1 Passo San Valentino but had put in a good descent to rejoin the maglia rosa group. On the descent, it appeared that a rider ahead misjudged a tight right-hand bend and went down with 25 kilometres to go, sparking a mass crash. Evenepoel tried to brake to avoid the crash but lost control and flipped over the metal barrier on the side of the road.

"In the end it was a crash that shouldn't have happened," Evenepoel said. "I don't know what really happened in front of me, but I came into the corner and saw some guys on the ground and I couldn't pass on the right side because I was next to another guy, so I didn't have any chances to avoid a crash.

"For now, there isn't anything broken, but I have a lot of contusions, it doesn't make a lot of sense to carry on with this pain. So I go back to Belgium and go for some CT scans. Then we will see."

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After coming into the Italian Grand Tour as a favourite, Evenepoel's bid for the pink jersey faltered midway through the race and then lost over 24 minutes on Stage 16. He finished the Stage 17 over 35 minutes behind stage winner Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) but his Deceuninck-Quickstep team announced late Wednesday that he would abandon the race.

"Of course it's sad to leave the race, and my first Grand Tour too early, but in the end, it was a nice experience and I hope to be back one day again. I'm wishing the best to all my Deceuninck-QuickStep teammates," said Evenepoel.

It was a mixed day for the Belgian WorldTour squad, with Joao Almeida moving up on two spots to eighth overall following a good final climb, but their pre-race leader heading home wasn't part of the plan coming into the race.

"Following the diagnosis the medical team decided that it would be best if Remco was to leave the race and recover completely as fast as possible, before working towards his goals for later in the season," Deceuninck-Quickstep said in a press release.

Australian Nick Schultz went down in the same fall and has also been confirmed as a non-starter for Stage 18. The Aussie climber had been performing very well, the top-ranked Australian on the general classification at 18th overall heading into the stage. He finished the stage 24 minutes down before scans revealed a fracture in his hand which brought his Giro d'Italia to an early end.

The Giro d'Italia continues tonight with Stage 18 and another summit finish on a shortened stage to Alpe di Mera. Watch the race from 1925 AEST on SBSOnDemand with coverage starting from 2120 on SBS VICELAND.


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3 min read
Published 27 May 2021 at 8:13am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS