Ruta del Sol: Antunes crashes on stage 3 and withdraws from the race

What was supposed to be a calm, sprinters’ stage turned out to be a dramatic day for Amaro Antunes. Portuguese abandoned the race after a crash.

Info: Stage 3, February 16th, Mancha Real (Jaén) – Herrera (Sevilla), 166,1km

Course: flat/undulating

Stage 3 got off to a worst possible start, as Amaro Antunes, 9th in the general standing, crashed badly at kilometer 11. Thankfully no fractures were observed, but due to painful cuts and bruises he was unable to continue and was taken by an ambulance.

He bruised himself badly and even ripped his nails off in that accident and couldn’t hold the handlebar. There was no way he could continue to race – Piotr Wadecki, sport director of CCC Sprandi Polkowice explained.

It was a very sad news for both the rider and the team, since Antunes was in good position to get a nice overall result in Spain, with the individual time trial coming up on the last day of racing.

In cycling peloton waits for no one and the race goes on. “Riders in orange” who were very concerned about Amaro’s health didn’t get into the break and the 4-man escape went without a representative of Polkowice-based squad.

Breakaway, which had established a 3-minute lead, got fully reeled in with 12km to go and the bunch stayed all together until the finish. After two top 10 spots on the opening, sprinters’ stage, this time CCC Sprandi Polkowice guys were not in the contention, as Jonas Koch was the squad’s top finisher, in 16th place.

Sacha Modolo (Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale) sprinted to victory, besting Carlos Barbero (Movistar) and Nelson Soto (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA). Wout Poels (Team Sky) retained the overall lead.