Bad luck for Team KATUSHA ALPECIN at the opening day of the 3rd Tour de Yorkshire. Marco Haller was involved in a massive crash just before the line. Haller was taken to hospital after the stage, where a fracture of the right collarbone was diagnosed. Marco Haller will need to undergo surgery. Team KATUSHA ALPECIN riders were working well together for the sprint final, with Baptiste Planckaert able to sprint for a ninth place on the same time as stage winner Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo).
“Until the crash the race went very well for us,” said Reto Hollenstein. “When the last group was caught, we were four, almost six riders in the lead. Ideal position for Marco and Baptiste in the final. Then the crash happened. An Orica-Scott rider had fallen, Marco crashed over him and I fell with other riders to the ground too. We had absolutely no chance to avoid it. Marco got it worse with a suspicion of clavicular fracture. But I also have all over the body pain and do not know yet whether I can go to the start tomorrow,” concluded Reto.
Stage 1 was from Bridlington to Scarborough at 174k. Team riders worked to protect Haller and Planckaert and rode near the front to contribute to the day’s efforts and stay safe. It was a touch of wheels in the final that started the chain reaction to bring riders down, including Hollenstein who went up and over the crash, while Haller could not stop in time and ran into the others.
Groenewegen leads the 3-day race after day one with a leading time of 4:09:38, holding four seconds to today’s second place finisher Caleb Wean of Orica-Scott. Third place on both the day and the classification is Chris Opie of BIKE Channel Canyon.
Stage 2 on Saturday at 122.5km begins in Tadcaster and ends in Harrogate.
Photo credit © Tim De Waele