Team Type 1-Sanofi rider Aldo Ino Ilesic claimed fourth place in a mass sprint on Tuesday at the Tour de Korea, in a finish marred by a serious crash during the stage for teammate Daniele Callegarin.
Ilesic, from Slovenia, finished fifth on the day, and was working to lead out teammate Aleksandr Serebryakov at the end of 135km stage three to within striking distance, where the young Russian rider launched clearly ahead of the pack to win the bike race.
But Serebryakov’s raised arms across the finish line were brought down more than a half hour later and his medal taken away after local riders complained to race officials that he deviated from his line. Judges reviewed video and Serebryakov’s victory was annulled for irregular sprinting.
Unfortunate and contestable as that decision may be, it pales in comparison to Callegarin’s crash. The Italian rider, who last August crashed out of the US Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado with serious facial and hand injuries after slipping through the gaps in a cattle crossing, on Tuesday in Korea slammed up against a stone wall on a downhill.
“Nobody from the race saw Daniele hit the wall, even though he was chasing a six-man breakaway. Nothing was on race radio, the race doctor didn’t want to drive near the riders. When I saw him after the pack passed he was covered in blood and his knee and hand were gashed open,” said Director Sportif Frederic Moncassin.
Callegarin, who rehabilitated himself over the winter and held out from racing this season until just one week ago, insisted on continuing the stage, and was paced up to a gruppetto. After the race he was taken to a local hospital and treated for deep scrapes to his right thigh and arm.
“He’s out of the race and will need assistance to get home. His leg is very stiff and he needs a wheelchair to move around, but these are wounds that will heal, and we will make sure that he gets home fine,” said Moncassin.