Vuelta a Espana: Roglic blames Wright for causing 'unacceptable' crash

·2-min read

Primoz Roglic has blamed Fred Wright for causing the crash that led to his withdrawal from the Vuelta a Espana, labelling the incident "unacceptable".

Roglic was sent sprawling after touching wheels with Wright with just 150 metres remaining at the end of a dramatic stage 16 on Tuesday, and withdrew from the race the following day.

Three-time reigning champion Roglic had been second in the overall standings, and his withdrawal leaves Remco Evenepoel as the overwhelming favourite to clinch victory when the race concludes in Madrid on Sunday.

Speaking to Jumbo-Visma's team website on Friday, Roglic expressed his displeasure at the way his race ended and singled out Wright for blame.

"I can walk a little bit. I am happy with that for the moment," Roglic said. "After the crash, it took me time to straighten things out. I asked myself, 'how can this be?'

"My conclusion is that the way this crash happened is unacceptable. Not everyone saw it correctly. The crash was not caused by a bad road or a lack of safety but by a rider's behaviour.

"I don't have eyes on my back. Otherwise, I would have run wide. Wright came from behind and rode the handlebars out of my hands before I knew it."

Jumbo-Visma director Richard Plugge was equally unhappy with Wright's behaviour, adding: "Ten years ago, the older riders were sounding the alarm because the younger ones showed less respect, took irresponsible risks, and pushed their way through everything.

"The younger ones of yesteryear are the older riders of today. But you still hear the same discussion, even though we are a generation ahead. So that has to change.

"I'm glad that Primoz is speaking out, looking in the mirror and naming the behaviour of riders as well."

Bahrain Victorious rider Wright is second in the Points Classification standings, but is some 205 points adrift of Mads Pedersen after losing out to the Dane across Friday's 19th stage.

Roglic's withdrawal marks his latest setback during a difficult year. He was forced to leave the Tour de France ahead of the final rest day after suffering injuries sustained in a crash with a stray hay bale on stage five in July.