A huge crash involving around 80 riders including five of the six California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized riders marred stage 1 of the Silver City’s Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM today. Stefano Barberi, Yannick Eckmann, David Kessler, Tobin Ortenblad and Torey Philipp all went down while Ansel Dickey managed to avoid the tarmac. Philipp had to be taken to the hospital to receive medical attention and did not finish the stage.
“A lot of guys went down, it happened near the front on a pretty fast descent. Guys kept piling on into each other.” explained Directeur Sportif John Hunt who could not pinpoint the cause of the crash. “We had a bunch of broken stuff and guys had to wait for bikes and it was pretty much a mess.”
“Pretty banged up but luckily no broken bones.” Philipp texted from the hospital. “Bummed but it could have been much worse.” The young rider has three deep holes in his right knuckle that can’t be stitched up according to the doctors.
Everything was going to plan in the 92-mile Silver City to Mogollon Road Race with the Berries covering moves early in the stage until disaster struck. “It was a perfect day until then.” as Hunt summed up. A four-rider break was up the road with the field chasing and the Berries were well positioned at the front to get ready for the tough final 6.7-mile climb to the finish. They simply had no where to go when the first riders hit the deck.
“Just a big pile-up, a disaster.” Eckmann said, “It was on a descent, fast. You can do so much breaking but eventually you run out of ground.”
The Berries stayed with Philipp by the side of the road, keeping his hand elevated, until the medical staff could take care of his injuries. Then, regrouping, they continued on, minutes behind the field.
Barberi crossed the line first for the team in 69th place at over 16 minutes from the winner Daniel Jamarillo (Jamis-Hagens Berman) followed by Dickey, one minute later.
Now the Berries try to recover for the remaining stages. Stage 2, tomorrow, is the 76.2-mile (122.6-km) Inner Loop Road Race with 5,781 feet of climbing. The stage starts quickly with a sprint less than six miles after the start in Fort Bayard.
California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized Roster for Silver City’s Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM
- Stefano Barberi (30)
- Ansel Dickey (19)
- Yannick Eckmann (20)
- David Kessler (21)
- Tobin Ortenblad (19)
- Torey Philipp (21)
- Katie Barberi, Soigneur
- Hannelore Eckmann
- James Hunt, Directeur Sportif
- Hunter Veloz, Mechanic