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Giro d'Italia: 'I am conscious and it is good news,' says Peraud

Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R) said that he is conscious and has received good news following a medical check for head and facial injuries suffered in a crash that saw him abandon the Giro d'Italia during stage 3 on Sunday.

"I feel OK. I am conscious and it is good news," Peraud said in a statement released by his team. "I don’t remember the crash. At the hospital a doctor told me that Patrick Gretsch crashed and then I remember his crash. But it’s my only memory of what happens. It was nervous and windy but I don’t understand why we crash. At the moment, the only important think is that I am healthy."

The crash took place as Peraud was in the main peloton, negotiating a roundabout close to the front of the bunch. Gretsch appeared to clip a pedal going through a roundabout and Peraud touched wheels, going over his handlebars and hitting the ground hard with his face.

"Jean-Christophe Peraud suffers from a cranial trauma, a facial trauma with loss of consciousness, various bruises and dermabrasion on upper and lower limbs," said AG2R La Mondiale medical director Eric Bouvat. "He undergoes a brain and face scan in Zutpen Hospital that revealed no fracture and no intracranial lesion. I warmly thank the staff of Giro’s medical department and of Zupten Hospital for their professionalism and efficiency."

Peraud is out of the hospital and will travel back home to France late Sunday, according his team.

The 38-year-old Frenchman was taking part in the Giro d’Italia for the first time in his career. He had ridden strongly in his key warm-up stage race, the Giro di Trentino, finishing ninth and was co-leading the AG2R alongside Domenico Pozzovivo, who said on Sunday that he would continue to fight for his teammate.

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"I regret Jean-Christophe Peraud’s crash," Pozzovivo said. "Our goal was to fight together for the GC. Last year, I also crashed and quit in stage 3. Then, the team had a great reaction and kept on fighting. I am ready to take the lead and to fight for Jean-Christophe."

This is not the first time Peraud has had to abandon a Grand Tour because of injury. In 2013, he was forced out of the Tour de France after crashing twice, heavily, on the time trial stage at Embrun during the third week. It will now be up to Pozzovivo to lead AG2R-La Mondiale for the rest of the Giro d'Italia.

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