Natnael Tesfatsion suffered a terrifying crash at the Giro d’Italia after he flew off the road and into the bushes during a high-speed descent on Stage 9.
The Eritrean (Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli) was leading from the breakaway when he got it all wrong going down the Passo Lanciano. Rather than swooping round the left-hand turn from the outside, Tesfatsion was forced to take evasive action after hugging the inside of the road.
The 22-year-old was fortunate to find a gap between the wall and the barriers, but still flipped over his handlebars and ended up landing in the hillside shrubbery.
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“A very, very scary moment. He picked the wrong line,” said Rob Hatch on Eurosport commentary.
“Thankfully he’s back on his feet, the doctors are with him, but it was a heart in mouth moment for the rider from Eritrea.”
Tesfatsion was quickly attended to by a doctor and helped back to his feet. Fortunately, the official Giro race feed soon confirmed he had resumed the stage.
“Completely missing the entry to that corner, he was never on line to be able to take the corner,” said Robbie McEwen on Eurosport commentary. “Straight through and over the handlebars for Tesfatsion.”
McEwen continued: “You would normally come in on the extreme right edge of the road, he’s missed the entry so never a chance of the apex.
“He goes to the exit, couldn’t get it slowed down enough and then as soon as he hit the bushes the front wheel grabbed, straight over the handlebars. He’s trying to get the brakes on, even the back wheel comes off the ground.”
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