Pozzato apologizes while Cavendish and Goss rue missed chance
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Pozzato apologizes while Cavendish and Goss rue missed chance

by Shane Stokes at 5:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Injury
Final kilometre crash changes outcome of stage nine

Filippo PozzatoItalian Classics specialist Filippo Pozzato was determined to pick up the second Giro stage win of his career today but, rather than providing victory quotes to the media, he wound up issuing an apology to several riders he put out of contention in a last-corner mess-up.

The Farnese Vini – Selle Italia rider went straight as the other riders arced to take a tight left hand bend. His trajectory carried him into the bike of Matt Goss (Orica GreenEdge), who was thrown over his handlebars and hit the deck.

Pozzato also went down, skidding along on his shoes before the momentum tumbled him onto the ground. A second or two later other riders also fell, having lost control when the crash unfolded in front of them.

To his credit, Pozzato was quick to hold up his hand and admit his error.

"It was my fault, I admit that I'm the first to criticize those who risk too much,” he said. “I knew the bend was dangerous, but when the I saw that the road was narrowing I saw Goss in front of me and I was not able to stop.

He added that he thought the Australian was not himself travelling through the corner as expected, and said that this was part of the reason for his confusion. “I don't know what he was doing, if he was trying to open a gap for a team mate or just turning like the others. His speed was too high and I hit him. I'm sorry and I apologize.

“I hope that Goss, who’s a friend, and the other riders have no serious injuries. I hurt my side and I can’t move one of my wrists, but I don’t intend to pull out.”

Disappointment for affected riders:

The Orica GreenEdge and Sky Procycling teams of Matt Goss and Mark Cavendish worked hard to set up their sprinters, but both riders were amongst the victims of the crash. Goss went right down when Pozzato ran into him, while Cavendish slowed but toppled at low speed when a rider fell in front of him and left him with nowhere to go.

“Goss was hit from behind in the final corner,” explained Orica GreenEdge directeur sportif Matt White. “It’s sprinting. It happens. I want to be really clear that we don’t have anything negative to say about anyone else. We’re disappointed to see a stage get away from us, and that’s it.”

He’s mostly relieved that Goss is not badly hurt. He has bruising on his hip but otherwise appears to be fine.

“If you saw the crash, you know he got out of it quite lucky,” White continued. “He has ice on his hip now as a normal precaution, and we’ll have medical staff take a look at it as soon as we’re back at the hotel.”

Like White, Sky directeur sportif Steven de Jongh regrets the missed opportunity. The Giro has a limited number of stages for sprinters, and Cavendish had hoped to add to the two wins he has already taken.

"It was a disappointing way for the stage to finish for us but unfortunately these things can happen in sprints,” said de Jongh.

"At the end Cav couldn't start his sprint because he was caught right behind the crash; he didn't crash hard himself luckily but it's a real shame.”

Fortunately things are fine for the stages ahead. "He's absolutely fine though and it didn't cause him any trouble from an injury point of view."

Spanish rider Fran Ventoso (Movistar) avoided the chaos and blasted through for the stage victory. He’s not as fast as Cavendish or Goss, but proved that sprinting is unpredictable and that luck and good positioning are of high importance. Particularly so when there’s a dangerous bend so close to the line, and a rider not fully tuned into what his rivals are doing.


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