Crash robs Sil­ber rider of a win and mars two races

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - NEWS -

The fi­nal stage of the Cas­cade Cy­cling Clas­sic was a mess. In the clos­ing kilo­me­tres, the lead men caught up with the women’s race. Stephen Bas­sett, the Knoxville, Tenn., rider on Sil­ber Pro Cy­cling was in the mix, aim­ing to re­peat his 2016 win of the same stage, a vic­tory that lead him to his spot on the Mon­treal-based team. At roughly 400 m to go, he and a few other rid­ers had to get past a car from the women’s race in a turn of more than 90 de­grees. With about 200 m to the line, he launched his sprint, glanced back to see his gap, and then col­lided with Whit­ney Al­li­son of Team Colavita. Luck­ily, nei­ther rider was se­ri­ously in­jured. Three days af­ter the crash, Bas­sett was not only dis­ap­pointed with miss­ing the win un­der those cir­cum­stances, but was also con­cerned about how oth­ers un­der­stood his role in the events. “I don’t feel com­fort­able tak­ing the en­tirety of the blame for an un­fair and an un­safe sit­u­a­tion we were all in,” he said. Be­fore he drove for the line, he thought he was clear. His look back was not neg­li­gent, but an ef­fort to keep tabs on the oth­ers go­ing for the win. Through­out it all, he didn’t get any mes­sages from the of­fi­cials. “Some­body needed to step up and make the call,” Bas­sett said. “In the race, we’re at the of­fi­cials’ mercy. It’s their job to make sure it’s as safe as it can be. I feel that they didn’t do that.” Bas­sett also felt he was crit­i­cized for ig­nor­ing the ef­fect the crash had on Al­li­son. (On the night fol­low­ing that stage of Cas­cade, Bas­sett had apol­o­gized to Al­li­son.) “I’m just not speak­ing for her,” he clar­i­fied. “But it sucks for Whit­ney. It sucks for the whole women’s race.” Soon af­ter Cas­cade, Bas­sett went on to race Tour of Utah, and then the Tour de l’avenir.— MP

Stephen Bas­sett at the Cas­cade Cy­cling Clas­sic

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