Giro favorite Evenepoel has ‘a lot of pain’ after crashes in 5th stage

SALERNO, Italy (AP) — Giro d’Italia favorite Remco Evenepoel was involved in a crash caused by a stray dog early in Wednesday’s rainy fifth stage, which was won by Kaden Groves.

On a wet and miserable day, Evenepoel also came off his bicycle a second time but that incident arrived in the final three kilometers so, as per the rules, the times will be neutralized.

The world champion appeared furious after the second crash.

“He has a lot of pain on his right side and a hematoma with contraction of his muscles and some problems with his sacrum bone,” Soudal Quick-Step team doctor Toon Cruyt said. “Hopefully, with some good massage and osteopathic treatment followed by a good night’s rest things will be better.”

The team will know more Thursday morning, he said.

“But what’s sure is that Stage 6 will be a difficult one for him,” Cruyt said.

Evenepoel crashed on the right side of the road early on, along with a number of other riders, after teammate Davide Ballerini was sent sliding on the wet surface as he tried to avoid a dog that had run out.

Evenepoel was quickly attended to by the race doctor and his team as he sat on the side of the road but eventually got up. He gave a thumbs-up to a television camera as he made the chase back to the peloton.

The Belgian rider led overall until Tuesday’s fourth stage, when the pink jersey was taken off him by Andreas Leknessund.

The 23-year-old Leknessund maintained his 28-second lead over Evenepoel on Wednesday, with Aurélien Paret-Peintre two seconds further back in third overall.

Groves edged out Jonathan Milan and Mads Pedersen in a bunch sprint at the end of the 171-kilometer (106-mile) route from Atripalda. There were two categorized climbs early on before a flat finale to Salerno.

The day was littered with crashes, including one on the final corner with about eight kilometers remaining, and one in the bunch sprint that sent Mark Cavendish sliding across the line.

Thursday’s sixth stage also has two categorized climbs on the 162-kilometer (101-mile) route that starts and finishes in Naples after going through Sorrento and along the Amalfi coast.

The Giro ends in Rome on May 28.


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