Stage six of the Tour is one which many of the riders would happily forget. The mass pile-up which occurred inside the final 30km of the stage involved approximately 100 riders. Some were merely held-up by the riders sprawled across the road but others like Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM) were not so lucky.
Poels had been sitting in 20th place at the completion of stage five but all of this hard work was undone in the high-speed crash. The 24-year-old was rushed to a local military hospital in Metz where his injuries were diagnosed with a ruptured spleen and kidney, bruised lungs and three broken ribs. This is the second year in a row that Poels has been forced to abandon the Tour due to injury.
A spokesperson for the Vaconsoleil-DCM said: "His condition is stable, we have learned from team doctor Peter Lagrou".
It’s another disappointment for Poels who had been touted as a potential winner of the young rider classification at the Tour. He proved his worth in the list of favourites after a top-20 finish at the Vuelta a Espana in 2011, highlighted by a second-place one the brutal stage to Angliru.