Menu

GC contender Rodriguez abandons Giro after stage 6 crash

  • By Gregor Brown
  • Published May. 15, 2014
Joaquim Rodriguez lost almost 8 minutes after getting caught up in a crash during stage 6. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

CASSINO, Italy (VN) — Pre-race favorite Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) is ready head to Rome for the first flight to Spain. A fractured finger, bruised ribs, and the loss of two of his teammates in a crash during Thursday’s Giro d’Italia stage 6 to Montecassino took their toll and he abandoned the race.

“The battle for the general classification is over,” Katusha sport director José Azevedo said. “This is a day to forget. We came here with objective of winning but a big crash, with 40 riders down, ruined it for “Purito.’”

“Purito” Rodríguez — who finished second at the 2012 Giro and third at the 2012 Vuelta a Espana and 2013 Tour de France — saw his chances of winning his first grand tour go up in smoke.

“He has a lot of pain in his ribs, the same ones that he hurt in the Amstel Gold crash,” Azevedo said.

Angel Vicioso fractured his femur in the crash that occurred just over 11km from the finish and just a few kilometers from the base of the final climb. Teammate Giampaolo Caruso appeared to be the worst of the injured, so much so that fellow Sicilian Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) stopped to check on him. Azevedo was unsure of Caruso’s injuries.

The crash also involved GC Michele Scarponi (Astana), Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), and Julian Arredondo (Trek Factory Racing). In addition to Rodriguez’s teammates, Janez Brajkovic (Astana) and Davide Villella (Cannondale) abandoned.

Rodriguez made it to the top of the 8.5km climb that features an Abby rebuilt after World War II. He finished 7:43 behind stage winner and overall leader Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge). The time loss, the abandonment of his teammates, and his own injuries were too much for him to continue the race.

The stage ended just south of Rome, where an airport offers an easy trip home to Spain. The 35-year-old could rebound in time for the Tour de France, which he had originally ruled out.

“It’s important to get that grand tour win in my palmarès,” he told VeloNews this morning. “I’ve won big classics, small stage races. I only lack a grand tour and a worlds title. If I can’t get this Giro d’Italia title, maybe I’ll never win a grand tour, who knows.”

FILED UNDER: Giro d'Italia / News / Road TAGS: /

Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown

Bikes kept Gregor Brown out of trouble growing up in Oklahoma — BMX, freestyle and then watching Greg LeMond's Tour de France wins on CBS television's weekend highlights shows. The drama of the 1998 Tour, however, truly drew him into the fold. With a growing curiosity in European races and lifestyle, he followed his heart and established camp on Lake Como's shores in 2004. Brown has been following the Giro, the Tour and every major race in Europe since 2006. He will tell you it is about the "race within the race" – punching out the news and running to finish – but he loves a proper dinner, un piatto tipico ed un vino della zona.

Catch every stage of the Tour

Subscribe to the FREE VeloNews weekly newsletter