Lucas Sebastien Haedo (Saxo Bank-SunGard) was forced to abandon Paris-Nice on stage two after being struck by a police motorbike. The Argentinean was just one of a number of riders to come a cropper on a day littered with crashes, as high winds caused problems for the large peloton.
“Unfortunately, Sebastian was hit by a police motor bike on its way through the field to lead the pack in the right direction and by accident, he was hit and crashed,” Saxo Bank-SunGard sports director Bradley McGee explained in a statement after the race. “It has been a very nervous day in general with lots of wind and a nervous peloton which kind of make things difficult for both riders and the organizers trying to protect them.”
Haedo suffered a knee injury in the fall and was taken hospital after the stage to receive stitches.
Other crash victims on stage two included Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo), Fränk Schleck (Leopard Trek), Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad), Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) and Johan Van Summeren (Garmin-Cervélo), although they all recovered to finish with the main peloton.
Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard Trek) was somewhat less fortunate, however. The Dane was hit by another rider when he stopped to help his stricken leader Fränk Schleck. He then overshot a roundabout when chasing to rejoin the peloton and suffered a hand injury. Fuglsang came in 1:01 down on the stage.
“He had sharp cuts in one hand, which bled rather violently,” Leopard Trek manager Kim Andersen told fyens.dk. “He was able to continue, but how much he can do in the rest of the race is a big question.”
Moncoutié forced out with knee injury
While David Moncoutié (Cofidis) was not among the fallers on Monday, the Frenchman was forced to abandon the race on stage two with a knee injury. He had already lost over eight minutes on stage one due to the ailment. According to La Dernière Heure, Moncoutié’s knee problem stems from his decision to change his cleats on the Thursday before the race, which led to a slight alteration in his position.
The Frenchman abandoned 60km into stage two and it remains to be seen if he will be fit for the next race on his programme, the Tour of Catalonia (21-27 March).
Martin Velits (HTC-Highroad) was a non-starter on Monday after being injured in a crash on the run-in to Houdan on stage one. Team spokeswoman Kristy Scrymgeour confirmed to Cyclingnews tha tthe young Slovak had suffered a fractured sternum and would be out for six weeks.
Meanwhile, French talent Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi) did not start Tuesday's stage three to Nuits-Saint-Georges, citing pain in his right knee.