Confusion reigns on stage five in Alberta

Sun 6 Sep 2015

Confusion surrounded stage five of the Tour of Alberta when the peloton was sent the wrong direction within the final ten kilometres of racing.

They were in pursuit of solo leader Lasse Hansen (Team Cannondale-Garmin) who had attacked his early breakaway companions and led by one-minute.

After being re-directed back on course, the finishing circuits were neutralised - unbeknownst to stage winner Hansen who did an extra lap for good measure.

Shortly after the stage, officials made the decision to neutralise times, leaving ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Adam Yates six seconds behind race leader Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) with one stage remaining.

“We were about to come onto the circuits and were supposed to make a right hand turn but the motorbikes in front, which typically lead the race, went straight,” sport director Dave McPartland said.

“Straight away they announced the racing had been called off. Hansen was awarded the victory having ridden the right direction and to be honest it was definitely touch and go if we would have caught him anyway.

“The disappointing thing is that the guys raced for four and a half hours, in five degree temperatures, through rain and mud and in the end it was for nothing.

“But Tomorrow is a city circuit with a couple of hills in it. The race is far from over, so we will give it one last crack tomorrow.”

How it happened:

It was another wet and cold day in Alberta.

Despite a dramatic reduction from the original course route, the peloton still tackled a series of ‘dirt’ sectors that after the rain had turned into mud.

An original breakaway of six had reduced to four, before a bold move my Hansen on the final mud sector looked to pose a serious threat to the peloton’s chances of a stage result.

With around seven kilometres to go, those chances were completely demolished as the bunch was led in the wrong direction.

The confusion brought the peloton to a complete standstill and the decision was made to neutralise the stage. Hansen was awarded the victory whilst times would not contribute to general classification standings.