One of the more spectacular falls taken by a member of Sunday's Paris-Roubaix peloton was sustained by FDJ's co-leader Yoann Offredo, who while rolling along with his head turned back to locate his team car crashed into a warning sign at the leading edge of a median approximately half-way through the race. Offredo would turn forward just as he struck the sign and was launched over his bars onto the tarmac.
"It was at the back of the peloton," said FDJ directeur sportif Marc Madiot. "He had just asked for a bike change and before I could arrive he did not see that the peloton separated on each side of an island and he ran into a directional sign at full speed. He received injuries to his chin, knees and ribs. He stopped like that..."
"A second of inattention...Broken fingers/scratched chin/but the morale is especially damaged." said Offredo afterwards via Twitter.
The team has not yet announced how long Offredo will be sidelined from competition from his injuries.
FDJ's other Paris-Roubaix hope, Matthieu Ladagnous, crashed with 60km remaining while in the front pack when he could not avoid a rider falling in front of him. Ladagnous hurt his left leg and was forced to abandon.
"We never could have imagined such misfortune," said Madiot, whose best-placed rider would be Johan Le Bon in 26th place, 3:17 down on winner Fabian Cancellara.
Le Bon was pragmatic about his and his team's performance at Paris-Roubaix. "I finished, and it will serve me in the future, but the situation is very sad for us because he had high hopes."
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