Carapaz and Bettiol Withdraw from Tour de Suisse After Crashes

Richard Carapaz

Richard Carapaz and Alberto Bettiol have withdrawn from the Tour de Suisse following crashes and injuries sustained during stage 4 on Wednesday. This is a considerable setback for EF Education-EasyPost.

Bettiol, who was leading the race going into stage 4, crashed off-camera but was later shown on the broadcast with severely damaged bib shorts, exposing significant road rash and a bandaged arm. Carapaz finished 22nd in the summit finish, unable to keep up with Adam Yates’ attack from the GC group. Although his injuries were not immediately apparent, EF later disclosed that he had suffered a facial injury.

A post on EF’s social media read, “Richard Carapaz and Alberto Bettiol will not start stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse due to injuries sustained in a crash on stage 4. Alberto suffered from road rash and bruising and Richard suffered a face injury, which required sutures. Both riders will prioritise rest and recovery. Wishing them a speedy recovery.”

An update on Carapaz’s website clarified that Bettiol had crashed first on a right-hand bend, and Carapaz couldn’t avoid the collision. The incident led to Carapaz suffering a “strong impact to his mouth with Bettiol’s bicycle, causing a serious internal injury.” Carapaz needed five stitches for one of the three cuts in his mouth, combined with swelling in that area and his nose, prompting EF to withdraw him from the race.

Carapaz had been in a good position, just 19 seconds behind his teammate’s lead going into stage 4, with the GC battle poised to begin up the Gotthard Pass. However, the crash impacted his performance, and the Olympic Champion was far from his best on the 8.1km climb.

Despite the setback, Carapaz remains focused on his main objective, the Tour de France. “It doesn’t make much sense to continue racing, the injuries and inflammation make it difficult for me to eat well. Now I only think about recovering,” Carapaz said in a statement. “The goal remains the Tour de France and we will continue working towards it. I will probably have to spend 2 or 3 days without touching the bike, but then I hope to be able to train normally to arrive in Florence in the best possible condition.”

Carapaz is set to lead EF’s GC hopes at the Tour de France later this month, building on his determination despite the disappointment of 2023 when he had to leave the race due to a knee injury after a crash on stage 1. He plans to head to Andorra to train until the race starts on June 29.

Bettiol and Carapaz now have just over two weeks to rest, recover, and regain their form before leading the men in pink at the Tour.

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