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Martin Kohler, in better times during Saturday's opening time trial. (Georges Lüchinger photo.)
Martin Kohler, in better times during Saturday's opening time trial. (Georges Lüchinger photo.)

BMC Racing Team Bruised By Giro's First Road Stage

9. mei 2010

Utrecht, The Netherlands

The BMC Racing Team endured a half-dozen crashes on Sunday's stage of the Giro d'Italia, the most serious of which forced Martin Kohler to abandon with a fracture of his right clavicle.

A Bad Combination

Kohler and teammate Michael Schär were among nearly 30 riders involved in a pile-up with 42 kilometers to go in Sunday's 209 km race from Amsterdam to Utrecht. Kohler said the crash occurred as several photographers on motorbikes overtook the pack on a stretch where the road was extremely narrow. "Suddenly, one of the motorbikes slammed on its brakes," he said. "So I stopped full and went over the handlebars onto my right shoulder. I think I was the first guy who went down." Kohler said he immediately knew the injury was serious and said he remains in quite a bit of pain. He leaves Amsterdam Monday for a clinic in Zurich where he will undergo surgery. He expects his recovery to take at least a month.

'It Was So Dangerous'
Schär actually crashed twice and severely bruised his elbow. But the Swiss said he will start Monday's 224 km stage from Amsterdam to Middelburg. "It's a real pity for Martin because we really needed him and I feel so sorry for him," Schär said. Two other BMC Racing Team riders involved in crashes were Mauro Santambrogio and Florian Stalder. Neither was seriously hurt. Brent Bookwalter, who finished second on Stage 1, used the word "insane" to describe Sunday's stage. "It was so dangerous. A total freak-fest," he said.