Taylor Phinney, of the United States, receives assistance after crashing during the third stage of the Giro d’Italia, Tour of Italy cycling race, in Horsens, Denmark, Monday, May 7, 2012. Matthew Goss of Australia won the third stage of the Giro d’Italia on Monday, while world champion Mark Cavendish and overall leader Taylor Phinney were involved in a crash in the high-speed sprint finish. Phinney maintained the overall lead, since times are neutralized when there are crashes at the end of flat stages. (AP Photo/Daniele Badolato)
By Alasdair Fotheringham
HORSENS, Denmark, May 7 (Reuters) – World champion Mark Cavendish and Giro d’Italia race leader Taylor Phinney were involved in a mass pileup near the end of the third stage on Monday won by Australian Matt Goss.
Briton Cavendish sustained a bad cut on his left shoulder and American Phinney hurt his ankle.
Phinney received medical assistance from an ambulance before hobbling towards the race podium with a huge bandage around his ankle to receive his leader’s jersey.
“First of all I want to reassure my family I’m fine, but it was a bad cut,” Phinney told reporters. “I was in a state of shock when I got in the ambulance, I’m glad it’s a rest day tomorrow. It’s a shame when things like this happen.”
The crash occurred when Italian rider Roberto Ferrari cut abruptly across Cavendish’s line within 100 metres of the finish. Cavendish could not avoid the Italian and tumbled violently to the ground, lying prostrate on the tarmac as another rider rode over him.
Cavendish then walked towards the line, his shoulder visibly cut and his red jersey of points leader in tatters.
“He lost a lot of skin but he is okay,” Team Sky sports director Steve De Jongh told Reuters.
“It looks like there’s nothing broken. It was a really nasty crash, I think the guy who caused that should be punished. You cannot make a manouvre like that.”
Ferrari blamed another rider for his abrupt manouvre and said he had not seen Cavendish.
Told that he had been relegated to the last place in the pack by the race officials, Ferrari replied: “I’ve nothing to say about that, I was doing my sprint.”
The stage began with a memorial ceremony for Belgian rider Wouter Weylandt, who died in an accident on stage three of the Giro last year, and for Horsens mayor Jan Trojberg, who died suddenly on Sunday.
Tuesday is the first rest day as the race moves to Italy. Racing resumes with a team time trial on Wednesday in Verona.
Giro commemorates death of Weylandt in 2011 race
The Giro d’Italia commemorated the death of Belgian Wouter Weylandt on stage three of the 2011 race with a short but moving ceremony at the start of Monday’s race.
Weylandt died when he fell on a fast, twisting descent of the Passo del Bocco close to the finish. He was 26.
Riders bared their heads and some crossed themselves during a minute’s silence, also commemorating the death of the mayor of Horsens, Jan Trojberg, who died suddenly on Sunday.
The race PA system then re-broadcast the commentary from stage three of the 2010 Giro which Weylandt won.
“It [Weylandt’s crash] was really sad, a young guy taken too early, something that never should happen,” Britain’s Mark Cavendish, the stage two winner on Sunday, told Reuters.
“There are guys here racing today who were very close to him.”