Steven Kruijswijk and his LottoNL – Jumbo team want compensation from the Vuelta a España’s race organizer for its negligence. A metal post left in the road with 2.5 kilometers remaining in Wednesday’s stage 5 caused the Dutchman to crash and abandon the race.
Kruijswijk, who placed fourth overall at the Giro d’Italia after leading the race for several days, built the second half of his season around winning the Vuelta a España. Now, he sits at home in the Netherlands with a broken collarbone. His season is finished.
“We asked the Vuelta how they think they are going compensate Steven and the team for the loss,” general manager Richard Plugge said. “We wasted time and money to have the team and Steven ready to come here to race this Vuelta. The riders always complain in Twitter, but nothing ever happens.”
“Fear a lawsuit?” race director Javier Guillen said. “There are all kinds of incidents on the road all the time and there are never lawsuits that follow.”
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, with a similar incident causing controvery in April of 2015 at the País Vasco stage race. In the final 400 meters of the first stage, a speeding bunch swung around a corner and around 10 unlucky riders crashed. Adam Yates (Orica – BikeExchange) and Peter Stetina (then with BMC Racing) went down hard, and Stetina suffered a broken right tibia, patella, and four ribs. The American said he could have died.
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