Evans vows to keep fighting as three teammates crash

Having lost valuable seconds on key general classification rivals during the team time trial, BMC's bad luck continued on Stage 5 of the Tour de France, with Brent Bookwalter, Michael Schär and Tejay van Garderen all victims of crashes.

Bookwalter and van Garderen came to grief on the Gineste climb while Schär was caught up in the high-speed pile up 250 metres from the finish.

Team leader Cadel Evans managed to avoid any mishaps but he was keen to move on after the team's disappointing performance in the team time trial that sees the Australian now 23 seconds back on race-favourite Chris Froome (Sky) and 17 seconds in arrears of Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff).

"Yesterday of course I was disappointed to say the least," Evans said. "But you've got to move on from these things. Realistically it might be really costly when I get to Paris. Obviously a repeat of the 2007 result wouldn't be desirable but we'll try to be optimistic and keep fighting right until the end."

Schär was riding with Evans when the pair saw riders hitting the deck and reacted accordingly, only for the Swiss to have someone hit him from behind.

"But then, from the back, some guys didn't see it and one slammed into me at 50 kilometers an hour," Schär said. "My elbow and back are bruised, but it's nothing serious."

Bad timing contributed to the crashes of Bookwalter and van Garderen, with the American's caught out either taking a drink or taking a bottle and riding one-handed when forced to take evasive action due to a crash in front of them.

Van Garderen, who also came down in the incident on the opening stage on Corsica, admitted it was just one of those things.

"I was grabbing a bottle from Steve Morabito and then we hit this left corner and people hit the brakes pretty hard," he said. "I had one hand on the bars and lost control. It was completely my fault. Just a lack of focus."

Bookwalter had similar sentiments.

"We were a little unlucky today, but we weren't the only ones," he said. "There were other crashes here and there with one and two riders. So it's not like we were super unlucky or doing anything wrong. It's just the usual cluster of the first week."



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