As I write this, Stage 3 of the Giro ended nearly 5 hours ago… and I’m still angry! Yes I’m a massive Team Sky fan and my opinion is probably biased, and yes I am a massive Mark Cavendish fan, so my opinion is probably blinkered, but what happened at today’s stage, and the aftermath, has really p*ssed me off…
Yesterday (stage 2) we saw a repeat of the magnificent team performance that took place in Denmark last year that culminated in Mark Cavendish pulling on the World Champions Rainbow Jersey. At this years Giro d’Italia, following a decent prologue, Team Sky dominated Stage 2 throughout and whilst the whole team contributed Ian Stannard put in a sensational shift before Geraint Thomas took up the reins with 2km to go and launched Cav to go on and win an outstanding solo sprint.
Today it was pretty much the same. Stannard, Flecha, Hunt, Uran and Kennaugh worked their balls off to give the World Champion the best possible chance to go on and win the stage. With 1km to go G took up the chase and at 500m Cav lit the afterburners and from the overhead shot it was clear that he was reeling in the leaders and was probably going on to win… But then, with the race leaders fully committed and going full bore Roberto Ferrari, a second rate sprinter from the wildcard Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela team, decided that he was going to swerve right across the road and in doing so took out the Red Jersey, the Pink Jersey and the World Champion at 65 kmh.
Falling off a bike at that speed can be both life and career threatening. In the ensuing melee bikes and riders were flying everywhere. Cav was the first rider to be taken out by Ferrari’s outrageous move and suffered as the peleton piled into and over him. Taylor Phinney, the race leader, went flying and appeared to break his ankle, everywhere riders were hitting the deck at high speed – it was carnage..!
And it was carnage as a direct result of Roberto Ferrari’s dangerous, irresponsible, outrageous move..!
Spare a thought for the riders loved one’s watching at home. Peta Todd, Cav’s girlfriend and mother of his new born baby, said on Twitter that she felt physically sick, Taylors family would have no doubt felt the same. On the day we mourn the passing of Wouter Weylandt, Ferrari’s recklessness could have quite easily resulted in a similarly disastrous event.
We know now that Cav is relatively OK. It would also appear that Phinney will be able to continue, BUT the organisers, in their wisdom, have decided to do nothing more than relegate Roberto Ferrari to last place on the stage. If Mark had done what Roberto did I’ve no doubt he would be on the next plane home… Can it be any coincidence that as an Italian riding Italy’s Grand Tour he is merely relegated to last place on the day? I wonder if the same punishment would be handed out if the roles were reversed and a Brit or an American had wiped out Ivan Basso?
In my opinion Ferrari should be thrown off the race with immediate effect. Geraint Thomas made a good point on Twitter when he said that footballers conducting a two footed lunge or rugby players committing a spear tackle are sent off and suspended immediately. Perhaps the same should happen in cycling. Other, far better riders than Ferrari have been scathing of his performance on Twitter, Andre Griepel went so far to suggest that he is sent to a garage to sort out his problem (whatever that means) but apparently according to Ferrari he is completely innocent – twat!
Ferrari has shown no remorse whatsoever, apparently he did nothing wrong and what happened behind him was of no concern of his. What an arse! My view is that he should be thrown off the race, made to pay for all damage to team equipment that his irresponsible sprinting has caused, and compensate anyone unable to continue the race, he might then have a different opinion of his actions, although I doubt it.
Hopefully the rest day will allow everyone effected by Ferrari’s stupidity the ability to recover. With a bit of luck Wednesday stage will see business as normal. Team Sky dominating and Roberto reflecting on what could have been… Whilst the former is a distinct possibility I have my doubts about the latter…