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Passeron fourth to abandon

Aurélien Passeron (Saunier Duval) is the fourth rider having to quit the Tour de France. The Frenchman was not at the start of Thursday's stage 6 to Super-Besse in Aigurande this morning, as his injuries from crashing into a spectator on Wednesday made it impossible for him to continue.

Passeron collided with a woman standing too far on the road in Chateauroux yesterday. With only six kilometres to go before the finish, the 24 year-old hit the woman at high speed while the peloton was chasing the breakaway just in time for a bunch sprint finish. He finished the stage, but was transported to hospital in Chateauroux because of pain in his back and abdomen. The spectator sustained a broken arm.

Before him, Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Cofidis) crashed out of stage one, Ángel Gómez Gómez (also Saunier Duval) abandoned on stage three, and Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) had to step off the bike during stage five because of injuries sustained on the first day of racing. Spanish team Saunier Duval is therefore already down to seven riders.

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