Tour de Pologne: Massive Crash in Sprint Finale, Brambilla Top Finisher
The ending to 145km Tour de Pologne, from Czestochowa to Dabrowa Górnicza, ended in complete chaos on Monday. A crash near the front of the peloton took down several riders, and held up the majority of the peloton just moments before the final sprint was launched.
As a result, only a small number of riders stayed upright or ahead of the crash and contested the sprint. Matteo Pelluchi (IAM Cycling) won ahead of Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) finished 3rd.
Gianluca Brambilla crossed the finish line eventually, in 23rd place. Michal Kwiatkowski, who was near the front of the peloton and was one of the riders unable to stay upright, finished 28th.
The race came back together inside 20km to go, as four riders out of the original breakaway were caught.
David De La Cruz crashed earlier in the race and was forced to withdraw. He was diagnosed with a broken right collarbone, near the plate that was placed on the same collarbone he broke the previous season. He will go to Herentals Hospital in Belgium for surgery tomorrow.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to 166km Stage 3, from Zawiercie to Katowice, on Tuesday. it's another up-and-down stage, with a descent into the finish.
"I broke my collarbone last year at Le Tour and now again," De La Cruz said. "I'm very sad. It was a strange crash. I entered in a right corner and suddenly I lost the front wheel and I went down. I couldn't react in time. This is the price I have to pay. I was scheduled for La Vuelta but now things become complicated. I will do my best to be at the start, but I think the possibilities are small."
"Today I went down in the crash," Kwiatkowski said. "I couldn't avoid it. Fortunately I could see the crash while it was happening, so I had the time to brake and avoided hitting riders ahead of me, or any around me, with high speed. However, I went down over the top of riders and hit my back and my chest. When I went down I feel a little bit of pain and hope it's nothing serious. But as usual we have to wait and see overnight, and make an evaluation about it in the morning."