Tomorrow is a rest day for all the riders at the Giro d’Italia except one. For Roberto Ferrari of Androni Giocattoli it will be a Day of Hiding. In fact, he should keep an extremely low profile for the rest of the Giro — if he’s still in the grand tour after the UCI judges make their call.
In the sprint finale, the Italian veered wildly to the right, taking out Mark Cavendish at high speed. The winner of yesterday’s stage two went down hard taking with him race leader Taylor Phinney. The young man in the maglia rosa was driven across the finish line in an ambulance but avoided major injuries that would have forced him out of the race.
Ferrari was relegated to last place for his kamikaze move. It’s the the kind of dangerous and disrespectful sprinting that Tom Boonen spoke of earlier in the year. The Belgian said there were too many “cowboys” taking insane risks.
You won’t ever see Mark Cavendish cross a finish line at a lower speed. The World Road Race Champion slowly walked the last 100 meters, his Pinarello on his right shoulder. Expect a slew of disgusted tweets in about four paragraphs.
After the stage, Ferrari committed yet another dangerous move by failing to take responsibility for his actions. “I was doing my sprint. I didn’t see him. I don’t know what happened because it was all behind me, my foot slipped. I had to switch lines because another rider moved abruptly.”
Anyone who watched the overhead shot of the sprint knows that excuse is ludicrous. His manager Gianni Savio however was quick to try and make amends. “I will apologize to Mark Cavendish in the name of the team and in the name of Roberto Ferrari for the incorrect behavior that was not intentional,” said Savio.
The carnage could have been far worse and it was a sad way to honor the memory of Wouter Weylandt. The most amazing thing about the crash was the Farnese-Vini rider who bunny-hopped over the fallen Cavendish while going 75kph. A stunning display of bike handling skill and reflexes.
Cavendish has already called for Ferrari to be thrown out of the race. “Is the team of Roberto Ferrari or the UCI going to do the right thing? Other riders, including myself, have been sent home for much less,” he wrote on twitter. “Should be ashamed to take out Pink, Red & World Champ jerseys.”
Condemnation of Ferrai’s “irregular” sprinting was fast and furious. Brent Bookwalter, a BMC teammate of Taylor Phinney, tweeted: “People who do things like Ferrari today or Rojas at Gand Wevelghem should get 3 months.” Garmin-Barracuda’s David Millar was both disgusted and cynical in his twitter reaction: “What’s crazy about Ferraridiot is that it will be a surprise if the UCI throw him off the race.”
New Giro boss Michele Acquarone has spoken of a more “humane” Giro d’Italia. If that’s the case, then it’s time to boot Ferrari out of the race before he gets somebody killed.