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BMC Racing Team soigneur Marc Paeme hands up a Gunz musette bag to Steve Morabito. (Dr. Scott Major photo.)
BMC Racing Team soigneur Marc Paeme hands up a Gunz musette bag to Steve Morabito. (Dr. Scott Major photo.)

Volta a Catalunya, Stage 6: Strange Circumstances

24. March 2012

Only a few days after a stage of the Volta a Catalunya was nullified by snow, another strange circumstance Saturday temporarily brought the BMC Racing Team and all but three riders from the peloton to a halt.



Race Stopped For 40 Minutes
An escort motorcycle for the race collided with a car ahead of the race, blocking the course about 70 kilometers into the 169 km stage. So when a breakaway of three arrived at the scene and the accident had not yet been cleared, the race was halted. More than three minutes later, the peloton arrived and was also stopped. For most riders, including BMC Racing Team's Mathias Frank, it was a bizarre scene. "I can only remember stopping in a race (Criterium International) a few years ago, but for a much shorter time – like five minutes," he said. "Here it was 40 minutes. Luckily, the weather was good. Nobody knew how long it was going to take. So at one moment, everyone sat down and enjoyed the sun and had a nice chat." Race officials said two people hurt in the accident had non-life threatening injuries. When racing resumed, the breakaway was given its three-minute advantage, which was eventually erased with 35 km to go. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) soloed to win the stage while Michael Albasini (GreenEDGE Cycling Team) kept the overall lead with one day to go.