Peter Sagan (Cannondale) went down hard in the crash in Bastia during stage 1 of the Tour de France, but he emerged from the team bus after the stage with smile, waving to the noisy Slovak fans that had waited to ensue he was not seriously injured.
"My back is all grazed and I've got quite a few other cuts and bruises but I'm ok. We'll see how I feel in the next few days, but the Hulk recovers quickly, I'll be ok," he said, referring to the latest persona he has adopted as he targets a second green points jersey at the Tour de France.
While Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) enjoyed his moment of glory after winning the sprint, Sagan finished 155th. Kittel scored 45 points but Sagan missed out totally, Fortunately so did all his rivals for the green jersey competition.
No collarbone fracture for Ted King
Sagan was escorted to the team bus by teammates Maciej Bodnar and Brian Vandborg. The USA's Ted King was not so lucky. He finished the stage next to last in 197th place. The team was worried he had fractured his shoulder but x-rays showed it was only badly bruised. A decision on if he will continue in the Tour will be made before the start of stage two.
"The first stage didn't go as we hoped, but we knew something like that could happen," Sagan said.
"I didn't know it happened. Someone ahead of me crashed. I braked but they hit me from behind. That's all I know. We were three kilometres from the finish, it was chaotic."
"Fortunately we were given the same time as the other riders. Several other big-name sprinters didn't contest the sprint either and so didn't score points for the green jersey. The Tour's started badly but nothing is lost."