INTERMARCHÉ
WANTY GOBERT

Vuelta a Espana

Taaramäe brutally looses the red, because of a crash


The fifth stage at the Tour of Spain (2.WT, 14/08-5/09) between Tarancón and Albacete was nervous in the final. The peloton, under the lead of the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, first let three riders take a maximal advantage of 7 minutes before accelerating at the approach of Albacete. The 30 final kilometers were very nervous because of a side wind, but finally it was not strong enough to split the peloton. It looked like the stage would end in a bunch sprint without incidents, until a massive crash cut the peloton with 12 kilometer to go. Rein Taaramäe couldn’t avoid the crash and was on the tarmac for a long time with his teammate Kévin Van Melsen (who suffers from several contusions but will start this Thursday). The red jersey was able to continue the race after a long moment of immobilization on the floor, but the rhythm of peloton didn’t enable him to come back despite of the help of his teammates. In the end, Taaramäe finished 2 minutes behind stage winner Jasper Philipsen was deprived from the red jersey in favor of Kenny Elissonde. Taaramäe, superficially injured, will start the sixth stage of 158.3 kilometer between Requena and Alto de Cullera (1.9km at 9.4%) this Thursday with the KOM jersey on his shoulders.

A crash happened in front of me when I was in the first half of the peloton. I managed to avoid it, but riders behind me ran into me. I wanted to be back in the saddle as soon as possible, but it took ages before I could free myself from the tangled riders. Once everybody was upright, I changed bikes and started to chase the peloton. It was impossible to close the 1 minute gap. It is a pity to loose the jersey in this way, but it is part of the race. Luckily, I’m not badly injured. Yesterday I crashed in the final 3 kilometer and today I was less lucky. But I’m not sad. I prefer to keep a smile on my face and think about my stage victory and those two magical days in red. I’ve got the mountain’s jersey on my shoulders now, which might become a goal in the next weeks. Or trying to win another stage.

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