Several crashes on the finish circuit left cyclists bruised and with only minor injuries during stage one for the Amgen Tour of California. Tom Boonen, Stuart O’Grady and George Hincapie were among the few entangled in the chaos that happened at the last five kilometers.
Boonen was at the near head of the peloton when he crashed. Hincapie recalls the incident, “Tom Boonen went down and I rode over his bike. I’m disappointed because I had good legs.”
Matt Crane of United Healthcare-Maxxis also shares, “I thought I was in good shape to get around the crash and then all of the sudden, Boonen was on the ground in front of me. I really couldn’t do anything to avoid him and I T-boned him.”
Caught in the accident were Dominique Rollin and Heinrich Haussler from Cervelo TestTeam. This destroyed the team’s lead for Theo Bos, the team sprinter. João Correia of Cervelo explains, “We had a little bit of bad luck in the end. It was basically a criterium and most of us, especially the Europeans, are not used to riding a criterium at the end. It wasn’t fast enough, and couple of guys from some of the North American teams, were nervous, and then the crash happened and it kind of screwed everything up.”
Another member of Cervelo, Andrew Pinfold, also crashed three laps away from the finishing circuit. His wheels bumped into Karl Menzies, his teammate. Menzies kept his balance while Pinfold fell.