French one-day race Paris-Bourges turned out to be a nightmare for American team RadioShack, with five of its riders crashing and injuring themselves. It rained all day and Ivan Rovny and Evgeniy Shalunov were in the middle of a big early crash and had to be taken to hospital. Later, in the final kilometer, Ben Hermans, Manuel Cardoso and Geoffroy Lequatre also went down.
Rovny's season is over as an ankle fracture was diagnosed. The fracture is situated at the lower extremity of the right tibula. Shalunov was involved in the same crash, but suffered only contusions and is expected to be able to start in Paris-Tours on Sunday.
In the finale in Bourges, early escapee Lequatre was in a six-man counter-attack but the peloton was on its heels. "We started to bring Manuel Cardoso up for the sprint," explained directeur sportif Alain Gallopin on the team's website. "But at a corner we all went down on the slippery roads. It was over and out for Hermans, Lequatre and Cardoso."
Cardoso's injury initially looked to be only general pain to his right shoulder and hip. A trip to the hospital in Bourges showed no fracture to the area, but his shoulder needs to be immobilized for eight days. The Portuguese rider, winner of a stage in Tour of Catalunya this year, will thus not be able to participate in Paris-Tours on Sunday.
The final team line-up for Paris-Tours is as follows: Matthew Busche, Michal Kwiatkowski, Geoffroy Lequatre, Robbie McEwen, Gregory Rast, Jesse Sergent and Evgeniy Shalunov.