Patrick Bevin experienced the highs and lows of cycling on stage five of the Santos Tour Down Under with the race leader putting another five seconds into his General Classification rivals, before crashing in the final 10 kilometers.
Bevin was one of the first to go down in the crash, with strong winds and expected bunch sprint making for a nervous finale, and despite his obvious pain, the New Zealander was able to get back on the bike and start to chase back.
A classy show of respect for Bevin’s leader’s jersey from Mitchelton-SCOTT saw the peloton slow down for the next five kilometers and with the help of his teammates, Bevin pushed through the pain and was able to rejoin the bunch with three kilometers remaining.
Upon crossing the line, Bevin was immediately taken to the race ambulance and transported to hospital for observation, where X-Rays and CT scans fortunately confirmed that there were no fractures, however Bevin sustained multiple contusions and bruised ribs and hip.
Bevin will be observed overnight and will undergo a concussion test on Sunday morning to determine whether he is able to start stage six and attempt to defend his race lead to become the first New Zealander to win the Santos Tour Down Under.
Earlier in the stage, Mitchelton-SCOTT took control of the race to bring back a three-rider breakaway before the two intermediate sprints which provided valuable time bonuses for the General Classification battle.
Bevin and Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT), who started the day seven seconds behind Bevin, both claimed a first and second place at the two sprints to gain five seconds each over the rest of the General Classification contenders.
After the sprints, two riders attacked and were able to gain a three-minute advantage but strong winds in the final 50 kilometers provided a chance to wreak havoc and the duo was quickly pulled back.
Bevin was positioned well and in the front group when splits formed in the peloton, but eventually the race came back together and the battle for position heading into the sprint finish started, at which point the crash took place.
After chasing back, Bevin rolled across the line in the main group behind the bunch sprint, which was eventually won by Jasper Phillipsen (UAE Team Emirates) after Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) was relegated for an irregular sprint.
CCC Team will provide an update on Bevin’s condition on Sunday morning prior to stage six.
Quotes from the Finish Line:
“It was such a nervous stage and there was a battle for position all day. All it took was a touch of wheels and I went down. I’m pretty banged up right now but I really hope that I will be able to line up tomorrow. Fortunately, nothing is broken so we will see how I pull up in the morning.”