ORICA-GreenEDGE avoid major injuries from late crash on Vuelta stage 12

Thu 4 Sep 2014

ORICA-GreenEDGE has avoided major injuries despite its sprint train being involved in a crash in the closing moments of today’s Vuelta a Espana 12th stage.

The flat 166.4km stage was defined by a solo ride from Matthias Krizek (CAN) who escaped from the three-kilometre mark and was caught with 12km to ride. John Degekolb (GIA) won his third stage of the 2014 Tour of Spain.

The quiet day on the road made for a frantic finish sport director Neil Stephens explained.

“It was always wrapping up for a sprint today,” Stephens said.

“It was a flat stage and a bit of a showdown between the big sprinters with Degenkolb and (Nacer) Bouhanni as the main guys.

“With the stage running out pretty easy there were guys there that thought it was one of their last chances to win. They have gone for a pretty desperate move underneath that took out some lead out trains and unfortunately ours was one of those.”

Mitch Docker and Simon Clarke were the worst affected but escaped with surface damage and stiffness.

With the stage win not a huge priority for the team today, the effort to position Michael Matthews in the sprint was only considered once Colombian Esteban Chaves was safely delivered to the finish in the front group to maintain 17th position on the general classification.

“We were going out there, as we have done in other occasions, to just throw it out there at the finish,” Stephens said.

“Everyone had a go at the finish and we were coming in a late rush but that is when the crash happened.”

Tomorrow’s stage 13 delivers a lumpy 188.7km trip from Belorado to Obregon incorporating two category three and a category two climb.