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Johann Tschopp was part of a six-man breakaway that enjoyed a nearly four-minute lead midway through the race. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
Johann Tschopp was part of a six-man breakaway that enjoyed a nearly four-minute lead midway through the race. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Tree Branch Knocks Van Garderen Out At Romandie

28. April 2012

With the final time trial looming at the Tour de Romandie, BMC Racing Team's Cadel Evans sprinted to eighth place Saturday after teammate Tejay van Garderen was knocked out of the race by a flying tree branch.

Unusual Incident
Van Garderen was struck in the face by the wayward branch as winds gusted to 60 kilometers an hour on the high speed descent off the Col des Mosses. He required a few stitches to his nose, BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said, but nothing was broken. "He's doing fine and feeling good," Testa said. "It's just a soft tissue injury, but the cut was pretty deep. He'll have to take it easy for a few days." Van Garderen had been sitting 15 seconds off the lead when he had to withdraw barely 50 km into the 184 km race.

Morabito 12th Overall
Heading into Sunday's final time trial, Steve Morabito is the BMC Racing Team's best-placed rider in 12th overall, 23 seconds behind Stage 4 winner and new race leader Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank Cycling Team). Evans moved up eight places to 23rd and is 30 seconds back heading into the 16.2 km race against the clock that includes a Category 1 climb. "It will be a hard time trial," BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe said. Amael Moinard, who led Evans out for the sprint, said the plan was to make the penultimate stage as difficult as possible. "Johann (Tschopp) was our guy in the breakaway at the start," Moinard said. "Then Cadel asked me to try something, but the wind was really strong. Then at the end, I tried to lead out the sprint for Cadel so I went as deep as I could until 200 meters to go."

Listen to more of Dr. Max Testa's comments on the BMC Racing Team AudioLine:
http://www.bmcracingteam.com/news/audio-line/

Click here to view photos from the race.