Jean-Christophe Péraud's Tour de France ended with him sitting in the road in pain two kilometres from the finish of the stage 17 time trial, after he crashed at speed on a corner, further injuring the shoulder he had fractured whole studying the stage in the morning.
The former mountain bike racer was the best placed Frenchman in the Tour de France after a stoic ride so far. But his double crash and double injury meant he was unable to finish the stage. It seems Péraud crashed on the very corner where his family were waiting to cheer him on in the Tour, with his wife climbing over the barriers to comfort him after his crash.
Péraud started the stage with his right shoulder strapped following his crash in the morning. The mobile x-ray unit of the Tour de France confirmed he had suffered a non-displaced fracture but he was determined to continue in the Tour despite riding in pain.
He set the 21st fastest time at the third time split but then went own hard on the last sweeping corner. A television motor bike swerved to avoid him but captured him quickly gesturing that his race was over. He was helped up by team manager Vincent Lavenu and eventually crossed the finish line in the Ag2r-La Mondiale team car.
"It wasn't the fracture that affected me going through the turn," he explained afterwards.
"I didn't feel that I was taking too many risks, I was descending as I know how but I was surprised by the corner. It's part of sport. I'm okay and it's only a broken collarbone. It will be a relief to get home, and we'll think about my next objective when my body recovers.”
With Péraud out of the race, young teammate Romain Bardet is now the best Frenchman in the overall classification of the Tour de France. He is 20th, 28:43 behind Chris Froome (Team Sky).
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