Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) escaped serious injury in a crash during stage 1 of the Tour de France. Video from a spectator on the road side shows that the Spaniard slipped out in the corner and then crashed over the median, tangling with Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) on the way down.
Contador suffered abrasions to his shoulder and back but expects to be able to continue.
Mørkøv says spectator, not barrier caused crash
While some blamed the barriers for Michael Morkov's crash in the sprint of stage 1 of the Tour de France, the rider himself suspects he hit something or someone in the crowd standing on the other side of the gates. The Katusha rider escaped any fractures, but struggled to walk after the stage because of a large contusion on his leg. He still hopes to start stage 2 on Sunday.
"I didn't hit my head too bad. I hurt my leg a lot. I hit it straight in the handle bar I think with a lot of speed. I have a big bruise, which makes it very difficult for me to stand on the leg. I hope that with some ice and treatment I can start the race tomorrow," Morkov said.
Of the crash, he added, "I'm not sure how it happened, we were in the last curve and I was very close to the barrier. I was sure I had enough space, and then suddenly I got out of balance. I think something hit me from the people standing there."
His teammate Alexander Kristoff finished only eighth on the stage behind winner Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), while team leader Joaquim Rodriguez escaped the chaos. Morkov is hopeful he can continue in the race.
"I really hope I can continue. It's a pity to work the whole year to be in this race and to go home after a single stage. We have a lot of goals to chase in this race, so I really hope I can get through tomorrow and the next days and be better."
No fractures for Bennett
Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18) was the second rider to crash behind Morkov, and had some serious contusions to his shoulder. But later examinations showed no sign of fracture or other serious injury according to his team. He will decide whether he can start stage 2 tomorrow morning.
Bakelants injures knee
AG2R La Mondiale's Jan Bakelants was eyeing stage 2 as a potential platform for taking the maillot jaune, much as he did in 2013, but he was unable to escape the clutches of bad luck in the final sprint, and went down on the same knee he injured in a wreck before the Belgian national championships.
"I was well placed, but he could not avoid falling," Bakelants said to Sporza. "All the work we have done [after his prior crash] to recover, is now here for nothing."
"That's a shame because I was really good and did not lose time. Now, well, it is what it is. I do not need to worry at the moment. The damage is not too bad, but it's always better not to fall."
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