Majka's Tour de France in doubt after stage 9 crash

Final decision due following Monday's rest day

Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) will decide on Tuesday whether he will continue in the Tour de France as he assesses his recovery from his crash on stage 9 to Chambery. The Pole lost more than 36 minutes and all hopes of a high overall finish after he crashed heavily on the descent of the Col de la Biche, in the same incident that brought an end to the Tour of Geraint Thomas (Sky).

Majka had begun the day in 10th place overall, 1:01 down on Chris Froome (Sky), but his race took on a different guise after climbing the Col de la Biche. Although Majka remounted relatively quickly, his injuries meant that he was severely hampered on the hors categories climbs of the Grand Colombier and Mont du Chat which followed.

Majka made it to the finish in the company of his fellow countryman Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky), some 36:21 down on stage winner Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac), and he drops to 43rd overall.

Immediately after the finish of the stage, Majka was brought to the Tour's mobile medical truck, where a series of x-rays showed that he had sustained no broken bones in the crash, though he had suffered various contusions.

Majka initially suggested via Twitter that a decision on his continued participation in the Tour would be taken during Monday's rest day, and he also paid tribute to the help of his fellow countryman Kwiatkowski in nursing him to the finish.

"@LeTour - Tommorow we will take the final decision about my participation. Thank you @michalkwiatek and all @BORAhansgrohe for Support!" Majka wrote on Sunday evening.

Majka's crash was the latest setback for Bora-Hansgrohe after Peter Sagan's expulsion from the Tour on Tuesday for his part in the crash in Vittel that brought a premature end to Mark Cavendish's Tour.

Sunday's demanding leg to Chambery also saw Juraj Sagan finish outside the time limit, while Emanuel Buchmann conceded ground to Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) in the best young rider classification and now lies 18th overall in the general classification, 8:46 behind Froome.

"It seems that this is definitely not our Tour de France as we suffered another day of bad luck," said directeur sportif Enrico Poitschke. "Unfortunately, Rafa crashed on the descent of the Col de la Biche on the wet and slippery road. After Rafa's crash, Emanuel Buchmann was our rider that would try his GC chances, but this didn't play out as we would have liked. We still have to see how Rafa feels and how much he was affected by the crash before taking any decisions on our plan for the rest of the Tour."

On Monday morning, the Bora-Hansgrohe team posted another update on Majka's condition, suggesting that the decision on his participation in the Tour would be delayed by a further 24 hours, until just before the start of stage 10 to Bergerac.
 

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