US cyclist Taylor Phinney survived another day in the maglia rosa on Monday, in spite of crashing in a hotly contested final sprint for Stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia.
Australian Matt Goss (Orica GreenEdge) won the stage, with American Tyler Farrar (Garmin) finishing in third.
According to reports and video replays, Sky sprinter Mark Cavendish was setting up in fifth position when a cyclist moved to the right in front of him. The move caught Cavendish’s front wheel, and he went down, causing a tight bunch of following cyclists to crash over him, including Phinney.
While Cavendish was able to get up and carry his bike to the finish line, others, such as Phinney, took longer to finish. Bike racing rules allow cyclists caught in crashes in the final 3 km of a race to get the same time as the winner, thus preserving Phinney’s overall lead.
BMC Racing team manager Jim Ochowicz reported that nothing appeared to be broken, but Phinney will likely require some stitches.
“Where I was I thought I was safe… I was definitely in shock there on the ground for a little while. It felt better when I put some ice on it (the ankle), and I just wanted to come out here and show the fans that I’m OK.”
The 21-year-old American cyclist will have a full day to recover as Tuesday is a rest day as the teams travel to Italy to resume the remainder of the three-week bike race. Stage 4 is a team time trial in Verona.
Monday’s Stage 3, a 118-mile race to Horsens, marked the end of three days of racing in Denmark to open the 2012 Giro d’Italia. Phinney earned the maglia rosa by winning the Stage 1 individual time trial.
He’s only the third American to wear the jersey in the 95-year history of the race. At 21, he’s also tied with Laurent Fignon as the youngest.
Phinney retains a 9-second lead over British cyclist Geraint Thomas (Sky) in the overall race category.