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Canadian riders crash out of the Giro d’Italia

Canadian riders Michael Woods and Riley Pickrell have left the Giro d’Italia.

The two were involved in separate crashes on Wednesday, with Israel-Premier Tech teammate Nadav Raisberg dying in the same accident as Woods on the fifth stage of the Giro, which precedes the Tour de France and the Spanish Vuelta on the Grand Tour calendar.

Pickrell’s face was bloodied and he lost his helmet in a crash with four other riders. Woods, Raisberg and another four riders were involved in a crash 10 kilometers later.

Israel-Premier Tech said Woods was ruled out after showing symptoms of a mild concussion overnight.

The team then made a “late decision” to withdraw Pickrell from the race.

“His face showed the impact of the crash (Wednesday) and although he feels well enough to start, some mild confusion has been noted and the team is not prepared to take the risk given the possibility of concussion,” the team said in a statement. rack. “Riley needs time to recover and today’s stage is too risky, so the team has made the difficult decision to withdraw him from the race.”

The crash left Woods 107th overall, while Israel’s Raisberg, who broke his hand, was 164th and Pickrell 169th.

“We were preparing for the climb when a rider caused a chain reaction crash.” Raisberg said.

“My teammate, Mike Woods, fell and I, who was right behind him, crashed over him and was thrown up. When I landed on my hands I immediately knew something was broken, but I got back on the bike and prayed I was wrong.”

Wednesday’s fifth stage was 178 kilometers from Genoa to Lucca.

Woods returned to the Giro after a six-year absence, looking to complete a trifecta of Grand Tour stage wins.

In addition to a stage victory in last year’s Tour de France, he won a stage of the Spanish Vuelta in both the 2018 and 2020 editions. Woods’ best result in the Giro was second place in the fourth stage of 2018.

The 37-year-old from Ottawa was competing in his third Giro and 11th Grand Tour race. Pickrell, a 22-year-old from Victoria, was competing in his first Grand Tour event.

The 107th edition of the Giro ends on May 26 in Rome after 3,400 kilometers of racing. The Tour de France and the Spanish Vuelta, the other two Grand Tour events, start on June 29 and August 17 respectively.

Woods, who has recovered from a virus that ruled him out of the Ardennes classics earlier in April, has largely focused on the Tour de France and the Spanish Vuelta since his last ride in the Giro in 2018.

Israel-Premier Tech is co-owned by Canadian-Israeli entrepreneur Sylvan Adams, while fellow Canadian Kevin Ham is also a partner on the team.

Chief sports director Steve Bauer rode nine editions of the Tour de France, finishing fourth overall in 1988 after winning a stage and spending five days in the leader’s yellow jersey. Bauer, only the second Canadian ever to lead the Tour after Alex Stieda in 1986, also wore the yellow jersey for nine days in a row in 1990.

Israel-Premier Tech performance director Paulo Saldanha, coach Christopher Rozdilsky and team nutritionist Vanessa Zoras are also Canadians. And co-title sponsor Premier Tech is a Canadian company.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2024