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
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.