Narrow roads and a still-nervous peloton led to several large-scale crashes on stage 3 of the Tour de France from Orchies to Boulogne-sur-mer. Abandoning on the course were Team Sky's Kanstantsin Siutsou and José Joaquín Rojas of Movistar. The Belarussian broke his tibia, while Movistar confirmed Rojas fractured his left collarbone. Garmin-Sharp's Tom Danielson separated a shoulder and is uncertain for the start of stage 4.
While Rabobank's Maarten Tjallingii soldiered on for 40 kilometers after being involved in a crash, finishing the stage 10:37 behind winner Peter Sagan, it was later revealed that the Dutch rider had fractured his left hip. "This is one of the most disappointing moments in my life. Broke my hip," he wrote on Twitter.
Another Dutch rider hit the deck: Argos-Shimano's Koen de Kort finished 7:29 down after his fall. "At about 30 kilometers from the end there was a crash at the front of the peloton. I was in 20th position, but apparently that was still too far behind. I fell and injured my thumb. It hurts quite a lot, but luckily it’s not broken.
"It’s a pity, because I was ready for it. This finish suited me well. I was really looking forward to today’s stage. But well, what can you do about it. That’s also the Tour."
De Kort's teammate Marcel Kittel is still recovering from gastroenteritis. He struggled in more than 27 minutes after the winner. "Marcel is not thinking about the upcoming sprint stages," team doctor Edwin Achterberg said. "His recovery is the most important thing at the moment. Today he felt pretty good in the beginning, but when the hilly part started he experienced some difficulties and had to let go. His intestines are not yet restored, which makes it hard for his body to receive nutrients. At the finish he was completely worn out. We will look at his recovery from day to day."
Kittel was not the last rider left on the road: that honor went to Saur Sojasun's Brice Feillu, who has been suffering from the same stomach bug as Kittel. He came in half an hour after Sagan.
Also injured in falls today are Euskaltel-Euskadi's Pablo Urtasun. the Spaniard fell 50km from the line and had a slight concussion. Katusha's Giampaolo Caruso was down on the pavement for quite some time before getting back on his bike to finish at 18:03. The Italian had scrapes from another rider's chainrings across his chest.
"The doctors haven’t found anything serious, just a strong contusion at his sternum and the ribs of his sternum," his team announced. "[The] Katusha Team will wait [until] tomorrow morning in order to see if he will be able to continue the competition."
Omega Pharma-Quickstep's Tony Martin survived another day with his broken scaphoid in his hand. The team said it was "partially due to the fit adjustments on his handlebars, which were adaptations for the plastic cast worn on his left hand".
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