Crashes, chaos and confusion were the key words to the finale in the first stage of the Tour de France. There had been few crashes up until the end, and then a mass crash took down a number of riders and blocked many others. World time trial champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) was the most prominent victim, with a suspected fractured collarbone.
Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was also involved in the crash, hitting the ground.
“First stage and first crash for Klodi, Tony and me. But we are all ok. Hoping that tomorrow we are more lucky!!,” tweeted Markel Irizar (RadioShack-Leopard), mentioning teammates Andreas Klöden and Tony Gallopin.
Alberto Contador also made contact with the pavement. “Alberto went to the ground and we still don't know about his precise condition,” said directeur sportif Fabrizio Guidi.
Everything looks to be ok, Contador later tweeted, "we think I've nothing broken, now a lot of ice and rest. French asphalt is very hard!"
Sky had at least two riders involved. Geraint Thomas had to be taken to hospital, and Ian Stannard was also involved.
Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) had probably the most unusual crash, taking out an advertising banner. It was later reported, that the team doctor stitched up his elbow and he had abrasions on his shoulder and legs, but did not need to go to hospital.
Chris Froome was the earliest victim of the day,, as he apparently got too close to the curb in the neutralized section. After picking himself up again, he first got a new rear tyre and then soon a whole new bike.