Olga Zabelinskaya and RusVelo team in the lead in El Salvador after stage two under the tragic circumstances
A long sprint in a small pack determined the outcome of the second stage of La Vuelta a El Salvador. RusVelo riders Olga Zabelinskaya and Elena Kuchinskaya were classified second and third respectively, at the same time as Alena Amialiusik from Astana BePink. Zabelinskaya continues to wear the yellow jersey, and RusVelo remains the leaders of the team standings, with the third rider Aleksandra Burchenkova making the top-10 of the stage. There was no celebration at the finish though, because of the tragedy that happened in the race. A helicopter hired by Channel 12 with four people on board crashed soon after the take-off. A rescue operation was organized immediately, but one of the injured persons, radio journalist David Diaz, died in the hospital.
Olga Zabelinskaya had this to say: “The stage as a whole was ridden at a steady tempo; everybody did her utmost to conserve some energy for the two coming stages with plenty of steep climbs. The final downhill was dangerous and technical, I tried to ride away, but did not succeed; still it served as a selection, with only eight of us staying at the front. Suddenly we were told that the stage would be shortened by fifteen kilometers and after all the finish line stayed where it had been. Then the information arrived that there was a media helicopter crash resulting in casualties. It came as a terrible shock to us, I’m just at a loss for words…”
RusVelo team would like to express our sincere condolences on the death of the colleague who lost his life in the accident.