There was plenty of drama at yesterday’s opening time trial of the Vuelta a Espana in Torrevieja, not least the crash that brought down four members of the Jumbo-Visma team including co-leaders Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswik.
But even before the 13.4-kilometre race against the clock there had already been what could have been a very serious incident indeed as the driver of a team car overshot a corner during a reconnaissance of the course.
The car in question belonged to the Euskadi Basque Country-Murias team and was following the UCI Professional Continental outfit’s riders as they took a look at the course.
They went through the corner smoothly – the driver behind less so, with a squeal of brakes as he tried to keep control of the vehicle, which then crashed into barriers and the wall of a building.
Local police were on hand immediately, but it doesn’t bear thinking about what might have happened had the car exited the circuit where they, and a number of spectators, were watching.
There was another incident involving a team car once the time trial proper got under way as Deceuninck-Quick Step riders were forced to swerve when they came round a corner and discovered the Lotto-Visma team car parked at the roadside as a mechanic gave assistance to a rider.
The Belgian team lost out on the stage win by just 2 seconds to Astana, and without that incident may well have have won the stage.
A superb effort by the team today, but in the end we just missed out on the win and the red jersey because of the Jumbo Visma car who was still standing in our way. Such a shame! #LaVuelta19 #season17 #TTT
— PHILIPPE GILBERT (@PhilippeGilbert) August 24, 2019
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.