Giro d'Italia Stage 3: Crashes Again Ruins Chances to Contest
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team have done everything in their control to try and contest the stages, and overall classification, at the Giro d'Italia thus far. Unfortunately, what has been out of their control is what is making the difference.
Monday, at the 109km Stage 3, Francesco Chicchi was the team's top finisher in 21st place as the team according to Sports Director Rik van Slycke. The team did a great job setting up his leadout train in the final kilometers. Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team was seen at the front, alongside the trains for world class sprinters Mark Renshaw (Rabobank), Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE), world champion Mark Cavendish (Sky Procycling), and others.
However, just as the final meters of Stage 2, where a crash kept Nikolas Maes and Chicchi from contesting the stage, a crash in the bunch sprint eliminated the team's chances to compete once again. Cavendish, and Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team) — wearer of the pink jersey — were taken down in the crash.
Michal Kwiatkowski was also caught in the crash for Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team, but without major damage.
"He just has some scrapes, you know, to his knee and elbow," Van Slycke said.
Tomorrow is a rest day, and Van Slycke said the team will travel tonight to the next stage location.
A special ceremony was held for Wouter Weylandt, who died a year ago in Stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia. A minute of silence was held at the start of the stage in Horsens. Family was in attendance, and Radioshack-Nissan, as well as Weylandt's best friend Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda), were at the front of the peloton. Race number 108 — his final number — was previously retired from the Giro d-Italia to honor Weylandt.