Casagrande Investigated In Garcia’s Crash
– Reported by Gazzetta dello Sport –
CONEGLIANO (Treviso), 28 May 2002 – The Giro of Freddy Garcia is finished after 21 km of the 15th stage, Terme Euganee-Conegliano. In the sprint for the KOM in Castelnuovo, the Columbian fell heavily, injuring his face. The first reports from the racers are accusations that the cause was Francesco Casagrande, accused to closing his rival into the barriers. Taking in ambulance to the hospital in Padova, Garcia is undergoing reconstructive surgery for facial trauma with large lacerations across his face and head.
In hospital, the opinion of the doctor of the Giro, Giovanni Tredici, was confirmed by x-rays, they excluded the possibility of a fracture, but the
Columbia has to have many stitches put in his face. The racer had lost conscience for a number of seconds. The first reconstructions of the episode
appear that Casagrande had a quarrel with his companions who had rebuked him for his actions taken to defend the leaders jersey in the KOM competition.
The main rival for the jersey, Castelblanco, teammate of Garcia in Colombia-Selle Italia, has in fact taken over the lead for the KOM competition. Among the first to accuse Casagrande was Gianni Savio, the team
manager of Garcia’s squad.
The jury is waiting to make a decision until after they view the film (Casagrande could possibly be disqualified). The stage was raced under heavy
rain and the organizers had decided, for safety reasons, to stop the clock at the entrance to the first lap of the circuit of Conegliano, to be repeated 3 times. The sprint, therefore, did nothing to change the general