Tour de France: Domont out, Benoot bloodied in stage 4 crash

Late pile-up hits Bardet's teammate hardest

The AG2R La Mondiale team of Romain Bardet suffered a blow to their Tour de France hopes after key mountain domestique Axel Domont was injured in a crash in the closing kilometres of stage 4 to Sarzeau on Tuesday.

According to the medical communique, Domont suffered a fractured right collarbone and head trauma, but was cleared of a suspected skull fracture.

"He is suffering from a fracture of the right collarbone. The X-ray did not, however, detect a fracture to the skull nor the ribs," AG2R medical officer Dr. Eric Bouvat said.

Domont will remain under observation in the hospital on Tuesday night.

"This is a hard blow," said team manager Vincent Lavenu. "Axel is a valuable teammate and a very effective worker out of the limelight."

Bardet offered his condolences on Twitter, writing, "Very hard to see a teammate, a guerillero but especially a friend fall. Hard to agree to see the beautiful adventure @LeTour stop for one of ours. We're going to miss you so much @domontaxel."

Lotto Soudal had two riders in the pile-up, Tiesj Benoot and Tomasz Marczynski. Benoot, who finished the stage with blood covering his face, suffered a second degree dislocation to his shoulder, bruises to his ribs and back, and abrasions over much of his body, according to the team. He had eight stitches to close two deep cuts to his right eyebrow and back of his head.

The team will make a descision as to whether Benoot will be able to continue the race on Wednesday morning.

Marczynski, riding in his first Tour de France at age 34, hit his left knee on his handlebars and suffered a bruise but is likely to start stage 5.

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