By Gregor Brown in Châteauroux
German sprinter Heinrich Haussler came to a grinding halt at the end of stage five when he crashed on the La Brenne roundabout with 3.8 kilometres to go to the finish in Châteauroux. The Gerolsteiner rider, whose main job is to protect race leader Stefan Schumacher, was shaken up but did not sustain any race-ending injuries.
"I don't know what it was," Haussler confessed to Cyclingnews after he rolled home with blood coming down his left arm. "Some riders who were just going crazy, crashed or braked in front of me. I did not have anywhere to go and just fell on top."
Haussler, winner of a stage at the 2007 Dauphiné Libéré over a top-class field, hoped to make a sprint of his own and was working his way through the Columbia-led peloton. The road shifted right from Rue de Châtellerault to Boulevard des Marins when the 24 year-old was caught on the left side and hit a roundabout.
"Just a shit fall," he said. "I fell on the left side and the shoulder, on the elbow." Haussler is not thought to have sustained any fractures and will start tomorrow's stage to Super Besse.