Sean Kelly Analysis: Ferrari was wrong, needs to apologise for Giro crash
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Monday, May 7, 2012

Sean Kelly Analysis: Ferrari was wrong, needs to apologise for Giro crash

by Shane Stokes at 9:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Giro d'Italia
“We have all made errors as sprinters, you have to be able to say sorry”

Sean KellyFormer world number one Sean Kelly has said that he believes Italian sprinter Roberto Ferrari was fully responsible for the crash which afflicted the finale of the third stage of the Giro d’Italia today, and that the rider needs to man up and apologise for his error.

“I think Ferrari made an unbelievable move in the sprint. There is always movement, but his movement was a huge one,” the Eurosport commentator told VeloNation this evening. “Even the likes of Cavendish couldn’t avoid it. It was such a big move from the left to right, a real dangerous one.

“But that is sprinters, you look for the gap. When you are in the slipstream of riders, you just feel you can go, you can get out. He just felt that and didn’t have any look around to see if anyone was on his right hand side…that equals a crash.”

Kelly won Tour de France stages and many other races in bunch gallops, and was involved in several heated battles with riders such as Eric Vanderaerden and others.

He acknowledges that he too made errors at times. “We all have done that in our time as sprinters,” he accepted. “Cavendish did it himself in the Tour of Switzerland two or three years ago with Haussler [2010 –ed.].

“In the head of the moment, we all make mistakes. Nobody is perfect, it is just such a tight situation. The margin to make an error is so small. During a career, everybody makes that mistake at least once, if not more.”

Making amends:

Kelly is clear on what needs to happen in that situation. “You have to be able to put your hand up and say, ‘look, okay guys, sorry, I made a mistake.’ You have to be man enough to be able do that…they [the other sprinters] understand then.”

Ferrari’s abrupt movement put world champion Mark Cavendish (Sky Procycling) on the ground, and also brought down several others including the race leader Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team).

This led to a chorus of condemnation from several pro riders, with Cavendish and Phinney’s team-mate Alessandro Ballan being two who said on Twitter that they believed that Ferrari should be thrown off the race.

UCI rules don’t go that far, with the regulations dictating that riders in a similar situation should be relegated to last place of the group they were with at the time, as well as facing penalties such as fines and losses of points. Generally riders who cause crashes by deviating from their sprinting lines can remain in the race.

However that doesn’t mean that things will be pleasant for Ferrari in the days ahead. If he continues to insist he did nothing wrong, he is likely to face ongoing criticism. There are signs that he is relenting, though, with the sprinter telling La Gazzetta dello Sport that he regretted what happened.

Kelly believes that it can take some time for riders to understand what they have done, and to make amends. “If you look at the head-on shots, it’s impossible to see. But then when you see the heli shot later, you can see the movement he made,” he said of today's incident.

“He definitely needs to put up his hand and say ‘look, sorry guys, I did make quite a bit movement from left to right.’ You have to man enough to be able to do that.

“These things are something that happens in the adrenaline flow. On the spur of the moment, you make those mistakes and you learn from those mistakes as well,” he said. “If you put your hand up, then I think everyone will accept it.”

Kelly adds that the rider who is the perpetrator one day may end up being the victim the next. Such is the nature of sprinting.

“I think Cavendish had a problem in the Tour of Switzerland…he said then he didn’t do anything wrong and it went on for a bit of time where people were saying, ‘he put Boonen out of the Tour de France, he put Boonen out of the rest of the season.’

“There was a lot of talk about that. It wasn’t taken lightly that he didn’t say then, ‘okay, well, I made a mistake.’”


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