Tour of Italy | Canadians Michael Woods and Riley Pickrell fall

(Montreal) The Tour of Italy is over for Canadian cyclists Michael Woods and Riley Pickrell.

These were the only two representatives of the maple leaf registered in the Giro. The two were involved in two separate incidents. Their teammate at Israel-Premier Tech Nadav Raisberg was also involved in the crash involving Woods during the fifth stage on Wednesday.

The Tour of Italy is the first major competition of the season, as it precedes the Tour de France and the Tour of Spain.

Israel-Premier Tech said Woods, of Ottawa, was forced to withdraw after showing mild symptoms of a concussion overnight. For his part, Pickrell, whose face showed several scratches attributable to the fall that occurred some 10 km before Woods’, was excluded from the race because he was experiencing “some confusion.”

“His face bore the marks of this incident and although he feels well enough to start (…), the team is not prepared to take this risk due to a possible concussion,” declared the team in a statement regarding Pickrell. “Riley needs time to recover and the stage (on Thursday) is too risky. We therefore made the difficult decision to withdraw him from the race. »

These incidents had pushed Woods back to 107e rank in the general classification, while Raisberg, who fractured a hand, was at 164e step. Pickrell brought up the rear, in 169e place.

“We were getting ready for the climb when a rider caused a chain reaction,” Raisberg said. Mike Woods fell and I, who was riding directly behind him, went over him. When I landed on my hands, I immediately knew something was broken. I got back in the saddle and hoped I was wrong. »

The fifth stage spanned 178 km between Genoa and Lucca.

Woods was back at the Giro after a six-year absence. He was trying to achieve a hat-trick in the Grand Tour, after stage victories in France (2023) and Spain (2018 and 2020).

The 37-year-old Ottawan took part in his 11e Grand Tour, but it was a first participation for Pickrell, aged 22.

For the sixth stage on Thursday, the cyclists covered 177 km between Torre Del Lago Puccini and Rapolano Terme.

The stage was won by an incredulous Pelayo Sanchez, who beat Julian Alaphilippe and Luke Plapp in the final sprint.

Sanchez was surprised by his feat, constantly shaking his head and bringing his hands to his face. This first Grand Tour victory was acquired a little over a year after his first professional victory.

The Slovenian Tadej Pogacar retained the pink jersey as leader of the general classification by finishing wisely in the peloton, just like Geraint Thomas and Daniel Martinez, who followed him respectively at 46 and 47 seconds.

Friday’s seventh stage will be the first of two time trials for the 2024 edition. The 40.6 km route between Foligno and Perugia will end with a category 4 pass.


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