In part two of our Orica-GreenEdge interviews is with the general manager, Shayne Bannan who was quick to point out that the accident in stage three was no one’s fault.
Shane Bannan: “Not many crashes are really at that speed…”
It was anything but a normal stage at the Tour de France. I’m hearing that Michael Matthews is going to start and that Impey and Gerro, obviously, are out. Is there word on Albasini?
“The situation is: Gerro and Daryl left, so they’ve gone home. They’ve gone to Girona and they’ll be attended to by Dr Peter Barnes today and taken for another X-ray to see if any operations are needed.”
By the look of Gerrans it seems like it’s a fracture in the wrist. Is that correct?
“Yeah, that’s right so I would say that he will have it pinned today but we’ll know more about that later on.
“All the other guys will start today.
“Michael [Matthews] is in a fair bit of pain and it’s not such a good day to be in pain because of the cobbles so, what we’re hoping to do over the next three days is really nurture the guys through. We don’t care how far they are down as long as they’re still in the race – still in the time limit.
“Michael Albasini took a knock to his knee, he appears to be not too bad this morning.
“Simon Yates took a knock to his shoulder and knee so, you know, he’ll need to be nurtured through as with Michael Matthews. So, you know, it’s cycling and stuff does happen – it’s no fault of anybody it was just a circumstance at high speed and unfortunately we had five guys go down.”
I heard Tejay van Garderen reference that it was over 80km/h when the crash happened, have you seen the SRM files? Have you got any proof of the speed?
“My understanding was between 65 and 70.”
You’ve been watching cycling a long time. Can you remember such obliteration of the peloton?
“No I can’t. You see a lot of crashes and a lot of really ‘mass’ crashes but not many are really at that speed. I think that was the significant difference between crashes of the past and the crash we saw yesterday was at a really high speed.”
We saw Michael had ripped the back of his shirt up. What are the other extent of his injuries?
“A lot of skin off, a lot of skin off his buttocks and shoulder… The main concern is not so much the skin off it’s that he’s got fairly good bruising around his ribs.”
Simon Gerrans has had a few black cats cross the path this year… he’s really optimistic always but how long can he keep that going and what do you expect would be his next objective if the pinning and surgery goes well?
“Once the dust settles we’ll have a good chat to Simon about the rest of the season. You know, whether he’s doing the whole Vuelta to really set him up for next year – that’s maybe one of the considerations. But we’ll have a good think about it. See what the doctors say, see what happens today and then have a couple of days to just think about all the scenarios and most importantly how Simon feels going forward.”
Finally, Simon Yates, he is battered and bruised and he was caught up in the crash and he would have lost time but he still makes front group, finishes eighth in the stage. It’s a sign of what’s to come – he just seems phenomenal.
“Yeah, pretty impressive wasn’t it? You could completely understand if Simon just took it easy for the rest of that particular stage but to see him there boxing on in the finish in those circumstances was pretty impressive. It shows you the character of, not just Simon, but all the guys.”
– Interview by Rob Arnold