Heavy crashes for Sanchez and Martin at Critérium du Dauphiné

There was concern for defending Olympic road champion Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) on Monday's 1st stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, the Spaniard crashing heavily with several others at the 47 kilometre mark.

He was named in his country's team on Friday for the London Games and initial reports suggested that there could be some doubt over his title defence with suggestions he had suffered broken ribs. Pierrick Fedrigo (FDJ-BigMat) also crashed in the incident, and suffered knee pain.

Sanchez lagged behind the peloton for the rest of the stage but was surrounded by several teammates. He finished nearly 24 minutes behind winner, Cadel Evans (BMC).

X-rays revealed that Sanchez didn't sustain any breaks, but did have bruised ribs and a decision will be made this morning as to whether he will continue for the rest of the week.

There was also concern for Garmin-Barracuda's Daniel Martin who came to grief on a roundabout 34km from the finish in Saint Vallier. Martin brought down Orica GreenEdge rider Simon Gerrans in the crash.

"I performed a few acrobatics & then had a little touch down with 30k to go. @DanMartin86 hope you're ok, i left some tire marks on you.." the Australian said on Twitter.

Martin cracked his helmet in two with the impact, and there were fears that he had fractured his collarbone and finished the stage 16:39 back.

"Shoulder hurts like hell," he said on Twitter. "See how we wake up."

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