Six ORICA-GreenEDGE riders fell victim to crashes at E3 Harelbeke, dashing the Australian’s outfits hope for a strong result in the second Belgian classic of the week. Svein Tuft and Mathew Hayman hit the ground hard shortly after the peloton hit the hills. The duo never rejoined the race. Tuft’s head bore the brunt of the impact of his crash while Hayman sustained injuries to his right calf. Both will be taken to the hospital for a full exam this evening.
Jens Keukeleire, Jens Mouris, Michael Hepburn and Mitch Docker were caught behind the pile-up that took out their teammates. Mouris turned himself inside out in attempt to deliver Keukeleire and Docker back to the main bunch. Hepburn missed out on the Mouris express and pulled out the race when it became obvious the bunch was too far gone.
After fully emptying himself in pursuit of the front bunch, Mouris packed in for the day. The main group remained out of reach for Keukeleire and Docker. The duo were deeply disappointed that they were unable to put their meticulously honed form to good use in the pointy of the race.
Luke Durbridge and Daryl Impey flew the flag for ORICA-GreenEDGE in the increasingly shrinking peloton. Durbridge and Impey remained well-positioned and attentive over the Knokteberg, Hotondberg, Rotelenberg, Kortekeer and Hotondberg. They moved toward the front in the run-toward the Kapelberg only to get caught behind a crash on the Paterberg.
The front group rode away from Durbridge and Impey as they worked their way around the fallen riders. The South African would finish 3’14 behind race winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale). Durbridge came in just under two minutes later.
“The big crash took out six of our guys. It was really unfortunate for them. They’ve been working really hard toward this race. We saw the other day that they really had the ability to make an impact, and I know they were looking forward to testing themselves today. Durbo and I rode well to stay in the front group. Just before the Paterberg there was another crash. We were caught behind it, and we ended up chasing all the way to the line.” - Daryl Impey
|1||Peter Sagan (Svk) - Cannondale||4:56:31|
|2||Niki Terpstra (Ned) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team||ST|
|3||Geraint Thomas (GBr) - Team Sky||ST|
|4||Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team||ST|
|5||Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) - Belkin Pro Cycling Team||0:01:16|
|6||Tony Gallopin (Fra) - Lotto Belisol||ST|
|7||Borut Bozic (Slo) - Astana Pro Team||0:01:19|
|8||Tyler Farrar (USA) - Garmin Sharp||ST|
|9||Fabian Cancellara (Swi) - Trek Factory Racing||ST|
|10||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) - BMC Racing Team||ST|
|38||Daryl Impey (RSA) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:03:14|
|71||Luke Durbridge (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:05:08|