See all
See all

Rain, crashes and Kaden Groves


Long before Stefano Allocchio flagged off the start of the Atripalda-Salerno stage, one thing was clear: more than the altimetry, the real pitfall of the day would be the weather, the rain, the wet roads and the resulting nervousness among the riders. The first few metres of the stage confirmed this in full; ready. A breakaway was formed pretty early on, featuring Martin Marcellusi, Samuele Zoccarato (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè), Stefano Gandin (Team Corratec-Selle Italia) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), but the harmony lasted shortly: in one of the first tricky corners, Gandin slipped and pulled Marcellusi down with him. Pinot and Zoccarato skidded but remained on their bikes, showing some remarkable skills.

Eventually, the breakaway formed again, Gandin managed to catch up with Pinot and Zoccarato, – and Thomas Champion (Cofidis) who had attacked in the meantime – not Marcellusi though, who allowed himself to be caught by the peloton. Pinot took the points he wanted at the Passo Serra KOM and cramped back into the bunch, so as not to shake up a stage that in this weather was best kept as quiet as possible. As if that wasn’t enough, a stray dog decided to jump into the middle of the road. Fortunately, “only” two riders went down, but one was Remco Evenepoel, who was left on the ground for a couple of minutes, causing industry insiders and cycling fans in general to tremble. However, once the shock was over, he got up, got back on the saddle and rejoined the peloton supported by his teammates, ready to resume the hunt for the Trofeo Senza Fine.

And senza fine, endless, also seemed to be the thrills that this stage wanted us to feel. After the last breakaway survivor, Zoccarato, was caught, everything pointed to a bunch sprint, but the ranks fell apart badly with 7 km to go. An early crash halved the peloton, leaving Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), Jay Vine, Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates), Fernando Gaviria (Movistar) and even the Maglia Rosa, Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM), among others, behind.

Done? Not at all! With 2.5 km to go, it was Evenepoel’s turn again. The Belgian collided with a Trek-Segafredo rider bringing down several others. Done? Forget about it! Around 30 riders were left for the sprint, and while Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) outsprinted Jonathan Milan (Bahrain Victorious) and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) crashed into Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) with 50 metres to go, losing control of his bike and crashing into Filippo Fiorelli (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) who miraculously remained on his bike. The Briton was thrown off the side of the road, hitting poor Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën). The latter was the one who seemed to come off worst (good luck for a speedy recovery!) and in all this mess, Cavendish managed to cross the finish line in 4th place. So, bottom line: let’s lick our wounds and start again tomorrow… for another rainy, hopefully not slippery, day.

Follow us

top sponsor