Spaniard down with low back pain -fractures ruled out after checkups- after major incident 2km before Castillo's finish. Betancur 11th in uphill sprint.
It was a rough start for the Movistar Team riders in the 2019 Vuelta a Burgos, covering 162km in its opening stage from the city’s famous Cathedral to the Alto del Castillo. Two incidents in the final 10km affected Eduardo Sepúlveda -unharmed after a pile-up in the middle of the bunch- and most notably Rafa Valls, who crashed against another rider’s bike as the latter suffered a puncture into a fast turn right entering the city, two kilometers before the end.
Crossing a divider covered in grass, which served to quite dampen a hard blow to his low back, Valls lied on the road -always conscious and responding well to stimuli, yet with visible gestures of pain-, and was moved by ambulance to a hospital in the city of Burgos. There, Valls underwent scans and checkups which ruled out any fractures. The Spaniard will, though, remain at the hospital tonight following a protocol due to another blow, to his head, which didn’t cause him any injuries either, yet saw his helmet broken as a result of the impact.
The incident overshadow an otherwise solid performance from the Blues all day, starting with Sepúlveda’s pacing of the peloton to keep the early break in check. Erviti, Arcas and Valls himself covered Richard Carapaz, who finished 15″ behind first leader Giacomo Nizzolo (TDD), together with Antonio Pedrero. Ahead of the two, in 11th place, was Carlos Betancur, 9″ behind the Italian. Another uphill sprint will be coming up on Wednesday in Lerma (155km).
BinckBank Tour: Another sprint in Ardooie after easier stage two
Irishman Sam Bennett (BOH) remains untouchable, well ahead of his competition at the sprint ending stage two of the 2019 BinckBank Tour -169km from Blankenberge to Ardooie-. The bunch kick, more crowded than yesterday’s, even had Jürgen Roelandts (Movistar Team) featuring near the front, yet unable to find a line to progress inside the group, eventually taking 18th. Wednesday’s stage three in Aalter (166km) will be another chance for the fastest legs before Thursday’s Ardennes climbs.
Cover picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport