The Ineos Grenadiers rider went down hard on the tarmac during a seemingly innocuous phase of the race. Whether he touched the wheel of the rider ahead of him or hit something on the road was unclear, but Yates hit the rode face-first, with a few other riders also falling as a knock-on effect.
Yates suffered several cuts to his face, and was seen bleeding.
He remained off his bike for several minutes, as he attended to the cuts with tissues, and rinsed out his mouth.
The peloton eased up to allow him and the other riders held up in the incident — which included several of his Ineos Grenadiers teammates — to catch back up to the peloton.
The British rider continued to seek medical assistance after he rejoined the peloton, dropping back to the medical car, where his cuts were treated.
Despite the crash, his legs appeared unaffected. He had no problems rejoining the peloton, and remained safely in the bunch at the finish.
The crash occurred only shortly after his Ineos Grenadiers had ignited the race with attacks in the crosswinds, in an attempt to depose Tadej Pogačar (UAE Emirates) as overall leader.
Pogačar was alert to the danger, however, and managed to remain in the Yates group that split away from the rest of the peloton.
Yates ultimately finished in the peloton, meaning he seals second overall. The 28-year-old had hoped to defend his title, having won the overall classification, but a highly motivated Tadej Pogačar proved too difficult an opponent to overcome.
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