Vingegaard and Evenepoel leave Itzulia with several fractures and doubts about the Tour

The stage was neutralized for the peloton and the escape played the victory with victory for Meintjes

Leader Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel, with fractures like Vingegaard, also leave


The fourth stage of the Itzulia 2024, which was going to be held this Thursday between Etxarri Aranatz and Legutio over 157.5 kilometers, was neutralized by the organization after a massive fall in which Jonas Vingegaard (hospitalized), Remco Evenepoel and the leader Primoz Roglic, among others, and in which the breakaway was allowed to fight for the stage, with all times neutralized, with victory for Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty).

In a decision that caught many off guard, the six runners from the breakaway were allowed to fight for the stage win but without counting the times. The peloton, escorted until crossing the finish line, and the escapees entered with the same time – so as not to alter the general – and, among the escape, the victory (the least important this Thursday) went to the South African, new leader, the better in the final 20 kilometers.

And it is that a massive fall in a sharp curve on the descent of Olaeta forced the organization to neutralize the race, due to lack of ambulances that attended to several fallen cyclists, including Jonas Vingegaard, Remco Evenepoel and the leader Primoz Roglic, all of them. forced to abandon and that leave this Itzulia ‘orphan’, without three of its great favorites.

Jonas Vingegaard (Team Visma | Lease a Bike), who abandoned the race immediately, was taken on a stretcher, motionless, to an ambulance before he could be transferred to a hospital. “Jonas is conscious and will be examined in the hospital,” Visma reassured in a first statement about the Dane’s condition.

Shortly after, the report from the hospital confirmed that the Tour de France champion will have a tough road trying to be ready for the defense of the French round this summer. Vingegaard, “fortunately stable and conscious,” has a “broken collarbone and several broken ribs,” his team said.

The Belgian Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) was able to get up on his own after the fall, with his right arm immobilized and several blows, and a leader Primoz Roglic (BORA-hansgrohe) who already fell on Wednesday and who, again, he woke up visibly sore but without fractures.

The medical reports continued until late hours and, in the case of Evenepoel, his team also reported a “fracture in the right clavicle and scapula.” The Belgian rider himself left a video with some statements in which he noted that his “short-term plans” will be affected, confident of reaching the Tour well.

In a tight curve, almost ninety degrees, a ditch engulfed Roglic and other runners, such as Natnael Tesfatsion (Lidl-Trek) – also taken to a hospital -, and some large stones that had to be avoided by a Remco Evenepoel who went into the forest before falling, a stage came to a dry halt, in an area not marked as dangerous and where the escape also had problems minutes before.

A serious fall that left very hard images, seeing Vingegaard, Roglic, Evenepoel, Natnael Tesfatsion (Lidl-Trek) and Jay Vine (UAE Team Emirates), among others, on the ground. Many of them unable to get up, like the two-time Tour de France champion Vingegaard himself or Vine who, also conscious, was transferred to a hospital where at least neurological damage was ruled out.

Finally the march resumed but with blocked times. “The race is neutralized until the finish line, the 6 leading riders will compete in the stage but the stage times will not be counted for the general classification. The peloton will be neutralized until the finish line,” the organization explained.

Without counting the times or bonuses for this stage, the organization announced that the leader’s jerseys would be for those wearing them at the start of this stage, except for the leader of the provisional general classification, which becomes Mattias Skjelmose ( Lidl-Trek), which was second behind Roglic.

2024-04-04 15:05:06
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