Sky forced to ride final day of Picardie with only four riders

Simon Gerrans is part of a strong Sky line-up.

Simon Gerrans is part of a strong Sky line-up. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)

Simon Gerrans and Christian Knees were non-starters on stage three of the Tour de Picardie after crashing hard in stage two, and are both now in recovery-mode in a battle to be 100 per cent before the Bayern Rundfahrt later this month. Sky Procycling sports director Steven de Jongh however played down the severity of the crash when interviewed at the end of stage three.

"[After yesterday] they are pretty battered and bruised, but at the moment they should both be OK to ride at Bayern Rundfahrt at the end of the month," he explained.

Knees and Gerrans were caught in the same crash that brought down Quickstep rider Gert Steegmans who was diagnosed overnight with a broken rib.

Their abandonments also meant Sky was forced to ride the final stage with a bare-bones team of only four riders. However, the team was still able to take some positives from what was a challenging day with Edvald Boasson Hagen taking sixth in the final sprint. The Norwegian has just recovered from a rib injury of his own and De Jongh was encouraged by the result considering the circumstances.

"We were always going to be up against it today, but we still tried to be as competitive as possible," said De Jongh.

"When it did come back together Flecha and CJ [Sutton] gave Edvald a really good lead out."

"Unfortunately he just got a little misplaced at the end there, but he was really happy with the way the guys had worked for him, and was glad to be back in the mix after his bad crash at Scheldeprijs. It will definitely give him confidence for the future."

The Bayern Rundfahrt begins on the 25th of May.

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