It wasn't an ideal WorldTour debut for the Australian neo-pro
Orica-BikeExchange say that after today’s Il Lombardia race they have a new story to add to their books. They celebrated Esteban Chaves’s win, but with a funny twist. The peloton left his team-mate Rob Power behind and lost at the start in Como.
The 21-year-old Australian from Perth signed in with his team-mates and returned to the team’s bus. Time passed quickly and he stepped off the bus to find cars and fans crowding the lakeside street.
“I tried to get back on, but the roads had opened up,” Power told Cycling Weekly. “I tried for about 10 kilometres to get back on!
“This would’ve been my first WorldTour race. It was devastating to miss the start, but to see Chaves win is great. It’s a shame. I hope to put it behind me and move forward, to hopefully come back next year.”
Power was due to turn professional earlier but a rare leg disease delayed his start. After a year’s break, he raced the Tour of Britain this year and when Simon Yates fell sick, Orica-BikeExchange gave him his chance to race his first WorldTour event.
“Simon previewed the race with Esteban on Thursday, but fell ill. He had a fever,” sports director, Vittorio Algeri said. “At 3pm yesterday, we decided not to let him start, so we asked Rob Power to come from Spain.
“He was ready, but he came out of the bus to start late. He had to chase partly in traffic. He slipped, he let time pass. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
“He got lost at the start, which was a bit of a funny thing,” sports director Neil Stephens added. “It’s something I’ve had nightmares about, but I’ve never seen it before!”
Power trained instead and arrived to Bergamo to wait for Chaves at the team bus. He appeared ashamed of his error, but smarter for it. He added, “I just needed to be to the start on time.”