Phinney meets a tree face-on, Sky car egged - Tour de France shorts

It takes more than a face-plant into a tree at speed to stop Taylor Phinney. Near the end of Friday’s stage 19 of the Tour de France, he lost control of his bike and left the road, hitting a tree face-first.

Of course, he got back on the bike and rode to the finish, where he immediately went for medical checks.

"So hello. I am ok :) I fractured my nose and an occipital (orbital, ed.) bone under my right eye. I hit a bump, lost my grip w/about 30k to go today," he wrote on Twitter. "Flew off the road and took a tree to the face. After assessing my head for concussion, we decided I was ok to finish. Le Tour...she bites."

The EF Education First-Drapac team later confirmed the diagnosis, tweeting “Following his #TDF2018 stage 19 crash, @taylorphinney went to the local hospital with #PinkArgyle doc @RickMorgan9 for evaluation. Diagnosis: small fracture on the bridge the nose, small fracture on the orbital floor of his right eye. No concussion. Thanks for the well wishes.”

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Sky car egged on Stage 19

The friction between Team Sky and the roadside fans has been one of the big themes of the 2018 Tour de France, and the mountain stages seem to offer those spectators the chance to make their unhappiness known.

One of the Team Sky cars was so heavily pelted with raw eggs during Friday’s Stage 19 that it arrived at the finish covered with a dripping mess, reports Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.

Earlier in the race, a spectator walked onto the road to hit Chris Froome, and another reached across the barriers in an apparent attempt to knock Geraint Thomas off his bike. The team has also had to put up with boos during the stages and awards ceremonies. 

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Gesink with Jumbo for three more years

Robert Gesink put in a strong performance on Stage 19, contributing significantly to LottoNL-Jumbo teammate Primoz Roglic’s stage win. The Dutchman was rewarded only a few hours later when the team announced that his contract has been extended through 2021.

His palmares shows that he is a very good rider,” said team manager Richard Plugge. “You can see that from the way he rides this Tour. Of course you want to keep a rider like that.”

Gesink was happy to stay on with the team, with a different role from when he started. He said that LottoNL-Jumbo was like a family, or “a group of friends”.

Gilbert out of hospital

Philippe Gilbert has left hospital in Herentals, Belgium, where he has been since fracturing his kneecap in a dramatic crash on Stage 16 of the Tour de France. The QuickStep rider has been ordered to stay off his bike for four weeks.

On the descent of the Col de Portet d’Aspet, Gilbert overcooked a corner and hit a stone wall on the side of the road. He was thrown off his bike and about four meters down the side of the mountain. He was able to climb back up with help, and finish the stage.

"It is incredible how many fantastic supporters I have," Gilbert said. "When you are top and driving at a high level, you do not think about it. But it is precisely at such a frightening moment that you realize how important support is. I received heart-warming messages from all over Europe, Japan and the United States. And I am very grateful for that. It motivates me to fight. Hopefully I can celebrate my return before the end of the season. "

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