Australian team involved in 'horrific' incident at Giro D'Italia

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
The BikeExchange car, pictured here after running into Pieter Serry.
The BikeExchange car ran into Pieter Serry. Image: Eurosport

The driver of a team car for Australian outfit Team BikeExchange has been kicked out of the Giro D'Italia after running into the back of Belgian rider Pieter Serry.

The bizarre incident occurred on the approach to the final ascent as the Team BikeExchange support car ran straight into the back of the unsuspecting Serry.

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The rider, stricken for a while before he groggily rose, was understandably furious as he gestured at those who quickly got out of the car to try to help him.

Luckily for Team BikeExchange, Serry was able to continue riding and finished the stage.

The Australian team later tweeted to the Deceuninck-Quick Step team and to Serry: "Sorry guys, glad to see @Pieter_Serry is back on is bike! Hope he is all OK!"

Footage appeared to show someone in the passenger seat exchange an item with someone in another vehicle moments before the crash.

"It's just awful to see. I don't know where the driver was looking, but it was anywhere but the road!" commentator Hannah Walker said on Eurosport.

"It looked like he went down very hard there and you can understand the irate reaction. 

"I think for that to happen, it is completely inexcusable. 

"The road is still open and you have got to be so aware of what is going on."

The BikeExchange driver, sport director Gene Bates, was later kicked off the Giro d’Italia.

"Our sport director Gene Bates has spoken directly to Pieter Serry and to Deceuninck-Quick Step to apologise personally following the incident on today's stage 6," BikeExchange tweeted.

"We're all happy to see that Pieter was able to finish the stage."

Fans were left in shock, with some describing the incident as "horrific" and "shocking".

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Embarrassing day for Australian cycling

It was a fairly calamitous day for the Aussies as last year's runner-up Jai Hindley suffered on the sixth stage and saw his hopes of winning the title take a potentially fatal knock.

Western Australian Hindley, who just missed out on winning the title last year, lost valuable time in the general classification battle after getting dropped on the climb with just over two kilometres left of the 162 km slog in the rain from Grotte di Frasassi to San Giacomo.

At the end of the ascent, the DSM co-leader, along with Frenchman Romain Bardet, trailed home 34th - two minutes 38 seconds behind the stage winner, Swiss Gino Mader, who claimed his maiden grand tour victory.

Jai Hindley, pictured here in action at the Giro d'Italia.
Jai Hindley in action at the Giro d'Italia. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images,)

His struggle meant that Hindley is now 25th, a forbidding 3:29 behind the new race leader, Hungary's Attila Valter, who took the Maglia Rosa off Alessandro De Marchi.

Englishman Simon Yates is 49 seconds down in the GC in 10th place after failing to follow the impressive late attack of ominously strong former Tour de France winner Egan Bernal.

The Colombian is third overall, 16 seconds off the pace, while 21-year-old Remco Evenepoel, who's back racing after an eight-month injury lay-off following a crash at the Giro di Lombardia, is second, 11 seconds behind Valter.

The leading Australian is BikeExchange's Nick Schultz, who is 2:01 down in 20th place.

with AAP

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