Giro d’Italia: Phinney remains in Maglia Rosa after sprint finish pileup
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Monday, May 07, 2012

Giro d’Italia: Phinney remains in Maglia Rosa after sprint finish pileup

by Shane Stokes at 11:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Injury
 
BMC Racing Team rider able to continue despite finishing in ambulance

Taylor PhinneyAmerican talent Taylor Phinney had a bad scare on today’s third stage of the Giro d’Italia, coming down heavily inside the final 500 metres as a ripple effect of a crash involving Sky’s Mark Cavendish.

The world champion hit the ground as a result of a wild veering action by Androni Giocattoli Venezuela sprinter Roberto Ferrari, who swung from the left side of the road towards the right and hit Cavendish’s front wheel.

A number of riders further to the right also went down, with Phinney being the worst-affected of this group.

He remained sitting on the road for several minutes after the stage finished, then got into the ambulance and crossed the line that way.

Fears that he was out of the race were assuaged when he was able to walk out of the vehicle and up onto the podium to receive the Maglia Rosa of ongoing race leader.

While UCI rules previously stipulated that each rider must cross the line under his or her own power to stay in the race, this has been changed for fallers within the final 3 kilometres. As a result the BMC Racing Team rider holds onto his solid nine second lead over closest rival Geraint Thomas (Sky Procycling).

"You don't see a lot of crashes like that in the last kilometer, especially the last couple hundred meters," he said afterwards. "Where I was, I thought I was safe. I was staying up there (near the front) and was protected really well by the team. I hit the ground really hard and also must have had something hit me, because I have a little stab wound in my ankle."

He has the advantage of having a rest day tomorrow, enabling him to rest up prior to Wednesday’s team time trial.

His BMC Racing Team has the firepower to bolster his grip on the pink jersey there, although other teams like Garmin-Barracuda and Sky Procycling could challenge if they pull out top performances.

What’s most important for the team though is that their race leader is able to continue. He was aware that people would be concerned about his well-being, and realized that the podium presentation was the quickest way to reassure people. "I wanted to show the fans and the public and my family watching at home that I was okay," he said. "I felt like it was important to do that, to come back."

Phinney was due to fly with the rest of the team to Italy this evening. He’ll then head to hospital in Verona for a check-up, but fortunately it appears that there’s no major issues.

Click here for a stage report:

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